Northern Winter Blues

I'm from Minnesota. The days have been short and the weather has been crappy. I can feel the winter slump affecting my mood. I really think I just need a little sun. How do you guys combat this? I was thinking about taking some vitamin D or hitting a tanning bed for like 10 minutes. What works for you?


  • Happysoul0317
    Happysoul0317 Posts: 119 Member
    I'm going through the same thing up here in New Hampshire. It was 30 below for 2 weeks straight and now it's nasty and raining/sleeting. Makes it tough to get going in the morning. I was thinking of getting my spray tan on lol. Instant results. I always feel like I look better too.
  • Jeepfreak81
    Jeepfreak81 Posts: 35 Member
    Hey I'm in NH too! Always nice to meet people online from the same area. I've actually heard Doctors say that people that live in northern NH should be taking Vitamin D supplements in most cases. We have the same number of sunny days as Seattle. Might be something to check into if Minnesota is anything like NH in the winter
  • MegaMooseEsq
    MegaMooseEsq Posts: 3,118 Member
    I'm in MN, too, and I have noticed a decent improvement in mood and energy taking vitamin D. Maybe it's placebo, maybe not, but either way, it works. And it's better for your skin than a tanning bed!
  • kimny72
    kimny72 Posts: 16,012 Member
    I'm in VA now and still deal with this a bit. But when I was in NY it was often a struggle. My doctor recommended a Vit D supplement as my blood test showed a deficiency and any morning when it wasn't really awful out I would stand or walk outside for a couple of minutes in the AM. I also made sure to throw open all the shades and curtains first thing just to get that feeling that the sun still existed lol.

    I also found that figuring out a good workout I could do inside and at home was really helpful. Otherwise I would skip workouts more often than not (it's too cold to run, it's snowing so I don't want to drive to the gym, etc) which dragged down my mood even more.
  • diannethegeek
    diannethegeek Posts: 14,776 Member
    Vitamin D and a SAD light (10,000 lux light box) have kept the blues at bay for me this winter. I'm only in Kansas, though, so not as bad off as some of you Northerners. It's too cold up there for me :wink:
  • sky_northern
    sky_northern Posts: 119 Member
    Another Canadian, and pretty far north. I've learnt people respond differently in the winter to no sun. I know people that have those SAD lights and swear by them. I seem to do a bit better, vitamin D and keeping active and I'm generally ok. I also do tend to get a bit more sleep in winter then summer when it's light all the time and it's easier to be out and about.
    Defiantly go out whenever you can, I get it's hard when the weather is crap.
  • thegeordielass
    thegeordielass Posts: 208 Member
    I can relate. In the depths of winter we only get 7 hours daylight so for most people the majority of that is spent inside at work/school so it's not actually seen (out before it's light, home after it's dark). Add to that and the average winter in England is wet and miserable so not much sun around. I guess the answer for me is just get out when I can and keep busy.

    The good news is once summer hits there's plenty of daylight (17 1/2 hours a day or something by the solstice) which means we can make the most of the long evenings and stay out until 10 or so in the daylight (wrapped up as it would be cold). I like to think I build up some sunlight reserves then (assuming it's not a typical wet British summer!).
    TWRUNNER32 Posts: 62 Member
    It’s my belief that Vitamin D testing should be free for anyone that lives in a place where it’s dark when you go to work, and dark when you get home. Winter is miserable. MN is hard in the winter. I’m dreading going out to look at my car after the snow storm we had yesterday.
  • yirara
    yirara Posts: 9,616 Member
    Do you have snow? Very bleak, monochrome sceneries? Empty trees? Grab your camera, or if you don't have one you smartphone and go out to take photos. Go to a park, a graveyard, maybe the local botanical garden and just look at what's there. Try to find the beauty in little details or bigger sceneries. Just go out.
  • Sunshine_And_Sand
    Sunshine_And_Sand Posts: 1,320 Member
    I live in the southeastern US, but am far enough north that we did have a really cold snap right after Christmas. I am not a fan of cold weather, so it always messes with my mood. I know that what I have to deal with isn't nearly as bad as the weather in the northern states. It does help me to go outside some on sunny days even if it's really cold and just for a little bit.
    FWIW, I do feel bad for you guys up there with all that harsh weather. I'm not sure I could stand it myself.
  • lauracups
    lauracups Posts: 533 Member
    Michigan here, and I decided to embrace the mood and blah and cold and dark got a bunch of compression wear full balaclava snow shoes spikes...I get out and wow it makes a difference.
  • kristenseager
    kristenseager Posts: 6 Member
    New Hampshire here! We have a Happy Light! My husband was stationed in Alaska for a few years and worked the swing shift...he used it during the months where it would stay dark pretty much all day...they replicate natural sunlight and are supposed to boost your mood!
  • marmeer25
    marmeer25 Posts: 24 Member
    I have a sunlamp (10 000 lux) and also a Philips wake up lamp. Both are very helpful. Of the two, I find the most difference with the wake-up lamp. It simulates a sunrise so it is bright in your room before your alarm goes off. Most days I wake up a few minutes before my alarm because of the brightness in my room. I have had issues with SAD for the past few years and this is the first year in quite a few one that I feel pretty good (though I still have some off days). Look into the wake-up lamp - I highly recommend it!
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    i'm pretty far south for a canadian, but we usually have a heavy overcast straight through the winter, so with only 8 hours of 'daylight' anyway that can really add up.

    i do much better the years i just keep on riding my bike. the being outside is a big part of it, but the other part for me is about lifting my eyes. when i'm in a car my gaze always stays near the ground, because obviously tahts what you ought to look at. but on a bike i get a lot more of those micro-breaks that remind me i can still look at the sky.

    i don't know if i'm just a bit strange, but i'm no fan of strong sun or even really of direct light. i find it helps me a LOT to actually look at the sky and see all the texture and dimension even a wall-to-wall overcast actually has. it keeps my spirits from getting earthbound. sounds airy-fairy and hokey and all but my brain does seem to respond to dimension and space just as much as sunlight.
  • Machka9
    Machka9 Posts: 25,281 Member
    edited January 2018
    Khovde07 wrote: »
    I'm from Minnesota. The days have been short and the weather has been crappy. I can feel the winter slump affecting my mood. I really think I just need a little sun. How do you guys combat this? I was thinking about taking some vitamin D or hitting a tanning bed for like 10 minutes. What works for you?

    Tanning beds still exist? They're banned here!

    Anyway, when I lived in Canada, in the middle of winter, I would ...

    -- travel to somewhere warmer and sunnier for a week or two
    -- go to a bright, airy and warm gym ... one of the Canadian prairie cities I lived in had the greatest gym! The treadmills overlooked the swimming pool that was surrounded by tropical-like trees ...
    -- get involved in snow sports like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowbiking, etc.
    -- go out for walks at lunch
    -- fill my office with pictures of tropical places

    And then, after about 40 years of that ... I moved to Australia. :sunglasses: