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How to Fight Winter Blues: Tips from our Emotional Wellness Team

The temperature is dropping, and it’s already getting dark by the time we leave work. For many people, less natural light during the colder, darker months can spell winter blues.  

Thankfully, Harlem Children’s Zone’s Emotional Wellness team has tips on how to fight winter blues. Keep reading to discover more about winter blues and hear their advice.

What is Winter Blues?

Winter Blues is a mood shift experienced during the colder and darker months of fall and winter. Winter blues is a common experience for those living in areas where hours of daylight vary greatly from summer to winter. While it is not a medical diagnosis, it is important to be cognizant of and address it. 

What are the symptoms of Winter Blues?

  • Sadness or feeling numb
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Withdrawal from social activities
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Extreme fatigue and lack of energy

How can I fight Winter Blues?

  • Spend time outside every day, even when it’s very cloudy. The effects of daylight  can enhance your mood.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes sufficient amounts of vitamins and minerals as recommended by the FDA. 
  • Exercise for 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week, with moderate to vigorous movement.
  • Stay involved with your social circle and regular activities. 
  • Take care of a plant, which helps reduce sadness.
  • Maintain a regular schedule to improve sleep, which can then help alleviate symptoms of seasonal depression.
  • Write down your thoughts, which can have a positive effect on your mood and purge negative feelings.


What is Seasonal Depression?

Seasonal Depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a form of clinical depression that is a more severe experience of winter blues. If you feel that the symptoms above are making it difficult to maintain relationships, complete work, or manage daily tasks, please reach out to your doctor or a mental health professional for help.

A woman speaks to a teenager at a desk with a placard that reads “HCZ Emotional Wellness Team.”

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Emotional Wellness

The Emotional Wellness program is a hub for community education, training, emotional wellness resources, and overall mental health promotion.