How to Brighten the Winter Blahs

By: Debbie Mandel, MA

In the Northeast we have had some significant snow storms in early December forcing us to shovel and stay home. Our initial reaction was, "How beautiful and pure." Then the next day when driving and walking became difficult, we began complaining, "Who needs snow!" By the time Christmas rolled around no one longed for or dreamed of a white Christmas as we all had our fill. It seems that we get bored quickly with the terrain and need to change things up. We are tired of the short days and cold temperatures. When we feel bored, mildly depressed, or burned out, we always look for external stimulation.

Strange, we never look within ourselves where the cold emptiness begins. Ironically, the solution exists inside where we can find greater control and empowerment through positive perception. Seeing every day as a good day with its special distinguishing moments creates peacefulness and clarity. And for those of us who demand immediate gratification, we can change our perception immediately whether at work or at home. It can be as simple as: rearranging a few knick knacks, where we usually sit at the kitchen table, or moving a chair or lamp from here to over there. If I change my seat at the kitchen table, I really see things from a different perspective. I might notice something new in my field of vision. If I rearrange paintings or furniture, I see them with a fresh eye and appreciate them differently. When we are beset by winter doldrums, long nights, clearly we need to let the pendulum swing the other way to restore the balance.

Here are 10 tips to help you change your perception of winter and bring warmth and light into a chilly life:

Debbie Mandel, MA is the author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, a stress-reduction specialist, motivational speaker, a personal trainer and mind/body lecturer at Brooklyn College. She is the host of the weekly Turn On Your Inner Light Show on WLIE 540 AM in Long Island and has been featured on radio/ TV and print media. To learn more visit:

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