Combatting depression and the winter blues takes effort. When I get down, I forget to take care of myself, so I need constant reminding. Take a moment to take a deep breath, exhale, and say: I am doing the very best job I can to get through today. That’s all anyone can do. And remember, sad days don’t last forever. 

Every Day

  • Exercise at least 20 minutes every day. An hour is better.
  • Enjoy maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Be judicious with sweets and booze.
  • Take St. John’s Wort or something stronger, if you have to.
  • Vitamins. (Do it!)
  • Before you go out, primp! Take time to look your best.
  • Dress warmly.
  • Wear gloves!
  • Look up at the sky.
  • Breathe!
  • Smile at strangers.
  • Ask for and receive reassurance and compliments.
  • Write about your feelings.
  • List your accomplishments.
  • Turn off all the screens.
  • Don’t dwell. If you do, notice you’re doing it and redirect.
  • Cultivate color.


Every Week

  • Call one long-distance friend.
  • Go out with friends to dinner or a movie.
  • Do something really nice for someone else.
  • Go to a movie, concert, play, opera, etc.
  • Get a mani-pedi or a massage.
  • Cook for yourself.
  • Buy flowers.
  • Start an interesting book.


Quick Pick-Me Ups

  • Yoga
  • Crochet
  • Facial
  • Perfume
  • Exercise
  • Hot Tub
  • Bath
  • Call a friend


Remember. . .

  • Winter doesn’t last forever. But it’s long enough to require strategies to survive it.
  • The question isn’t whether anyone else finds you loveable. The question is: Do you treat yourself as if you are?
  • The depth of the pain that you feel is an indication of how much you need loving care.
  • Say “yes” to social invitations, and offer them, too.
  • Celebrate the good days and hours.
  • How much love you have in your life.
  • If you need it, ask for a check-in list from your friends—they are there for you.
  • Having a lover is not the magical answer to every problem.
  • Being in a relationship doesn’t prevent the holiday blues.
  • There is another side to every story.
  • When you compare, you despair.
  • Don’t skimp! Summer is the time to save.
  • PMS is real, it’s a bitch, but it does pass.
  • Always keep cold meds on hand.
  • Most days aren’t holidays!
  • Focus on the moment—don’t dwell on the past or future-trip.
  • Dream and set goals.
  • Things change, and it’s okay for goals to change.
  • Cultivate satisfying, life-affirming rituals.
  • Celebrate victories, milestones, and for no reason whatsoever.
  • Some people feel nothing around the holidays, good or bad.

The holidays can be hard on a lot of people.

But they don’t have to be hard on you.