Gentle Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

The winter blues won’t last forever.

It’s 10:43am. I’m writing this from a nest of duvets in my bed. I’m rocking a nightgown and, as of yet, am unbathed. My hair can best be described as OMG. In short, I have the winter blues. Every year I find myself wandering around aimlessly in these “lost days” after the holiday rush. When time moves strangely and cheese is an acceptable meal. Just cheese.

Although my fancy new watch is telling me to move, today will not be a 10,000 step day. I know to expect this lack of motivation. Not your vision for a Professional Organizer, perhaps? Sorry to disappoint. I am learning to give myself grace. Hopefully you will grant me leeway too. I am smack dab in the midst of the winter blahs.

I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues…

Some call it the winter blues, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Others, depression. I am keenly aware of the impact on my mental, physical and spiritual health. This annual funk has me listless and lumpish. I don’t like it.

Yesterday I power cleaned my kitchen. I even washed the ceiling. Yes, the ceiling. I completely decluttered and organized my spice cupboard. And, still managed to feed the kids. Hero status. Today is another story. I’m tired. The wind kept me up last night. It made me restless. I’m a little sad too. I miss my Mom. I miss my friend, Steve. I miss the gd sun. If things get really bad I will reach out to my therapist. There is NO shame in getting help when you need it.

The sun will come out tomorrow! Maybe.

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down

As an empathic human being, I can easily crash and burn if I don’t take care of myself. My empathy and intuition make me a great organizer but it’s not easy work. It’s as much, if not more, psychological as it is physical. I know that I live a privileged existence. I have health benefits and access to supportive interventions if necessary. I am surrounded by loving family and friends.

Family and friends have seen me through the seasonal winter blues. Artist credit: Nathan W. Pyle

It has taken me YEARS of hard work to realize that I am responsible for my own well-being and happiness. I actively demonstrate kindness and generosity to others. And yet, I struggle to do so with myself. Fortunately, there are a number of self-care strategies that I employ when I am feeling down. These help me when I’m feeling blue. I thought I’d share, maybe they will help you too! *Please note: I am not a medical professional. Consult with your doctor. Seek professional help immediately if you are in distress. I did.*

Kelly’s Self Care Strategies to Beat the Winter Blues

Gentle Exercise-“Get out and blow the stink off ya!”, as my Mom would say. A walk in the fresh air does me a world of good.

Go for a Float-To be honest, this is on my “MUST DO” List. The relaxation and curative benefits of floating include better sleep and decrease in pain, stress and anxiety. I really like what they are doing at The Floatation Centre in Halifax, check them out!

Don’t worry, even if things end up a bit too heavy, we’ll all float on, alright.”

-Modest Mouse

Meal Plan-Aim for at least one healthy, balanced meal a day. Eat a vegetable.

Proper nutrition is important when battling the winter blues.

Drink Water-Hydrate! Keep those beautiful organs moist.

Take your Vitamins-Vitamin D is known as the “sunshine vitamin”. It aids in regulating mood and warding off depression. Again, I am not a medical professional. Consult with your doctor.

Connect with Friends-For me, friendship is the greatest form of therapy. Sometimes, a simple cup of tea and a compassionate ear is all I need. Other times, champagne and a good rant is necessary.

Thank you for being a friend. I love you.

Limit Screen Time-This is HUGE for me. I’m a self-confessed social media junkie. It’s not always the best. Sometimes you need to power down completely.

Read-Research shows that regular reading improves brain connectivity, reduces stress and fights depression symptoms. Time-traveling bodice ripper, here I come!

Light Therapy-These useful devices mimic natural outdoor light that is often lacking in our Nova Scotian winterscape. Proven to reduce symptoms of SAD, depression and regulate sleeping.

Massage-Our bodies hold on to so much. Massage is a cathartic way to release emotional and physical tension.

The mind-body connection is real, y’all. Beat back the winter blues with some hands on therapy.

Music-Pump up the jams. This often leads to dance parties for one.

Journal-Write or vlog or TikTok, whatever works for you. Let those emotions loose!

Bubble Baths-Use the good soap. Add essential oils for aromatherapy benefits. Shower karaoke is an alternative activity if bubbles aren’t your thing.

Pet a Kitty-Or, a beloved creature of preference. It’s scientifically proven to lower blood pressure and reduce cortisol, a stress related hormone.

Animals know how awesome you are.

Beat the Winter Blues & Clutter!

Thank you for allowing me an audience to share my current experience. I am comforted with a sense of knowing that I am not alone. You are never alone. 2020 was rough. An understatement. 2021 remains uncertain. One thing is abundantly clear, we’ll sort it out together.

I’m still here and I’m still organizing! I genuinely LOVE my work and building relationships with wonderful people. You inspire me! I am available to help with your organizing needs. I’m a phone call away.

Yours in All Things Sorted,


“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And, if you can’t help them at least don’t hurt them.”

Dalai Lama

Struggling? Reach Out. Help is Available.

Mobile Health Mobile Crisis Team-Provides 24 support to children, youth, and adults experiencing a mental health crisis including thoughts of suicide, distorted or psychotic thinking, intense anxiety, overwhelming depression, feeling unable to cope or feeling out of control. Offers telephone support, problem solving, assessing risk to safety and linking to appropriate resources within the hospital and/or community.

Adult Community Mental Health and Addictions Services-Provides mental health and addictions services to individuals 19 years or older. Services are time-limited, evidence-based and delivered by a team of mental health and addiction clinicians including registered nurses, social workers, occupational therapists, psychologists, recreation therapists and psychiatrists. Works with primary care and community partners.

Provides care to the individual and, if appropriate, works with and supports people within their circle of care such as significant others or family members.

Treatments are matched to individual needs and may include:

  • Mental health and addiction screening and assessment
  • Group and individual therapeutic interventions (such as cognitive-behavioral therapy, structured relapse prevention, psycho-education, and dialectical behavioral therapy)
  • Diagnostic consultation
  • Medication prescribing and/or consultation
  • Recovery treatment and/or care planning
  • Rehabilitation and monitoring services for individuals with severe and persistent mental illness

Kid’s Help Phone-Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7, national support service. They offer professional counselling, information and referrals and volunteer-led, text-based support to young people in both English and French.

Whether by phone, text, mobile app or through the website, you can connect with them whenever you want, however you want.

The service is completely confidential — you don’t even have to tell us your name if you don’t want to.

Eastern Shore Mental Health-This is a resource, support & sharing group for anyone living with a mental health challenge, and for family members or friends, who are interested in talking, sharing & learning with others walking these paths and living on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.

You’re going to be okay.

2 thoughts on “Gentle Ways to Beat the Winter Blues”

  1. Kelly, thanks so much for sharing this! I’m currently in the mental roller coaster of SAD. Normally this time of year I am planning an escape to a tropical location. Just the anticipation of being in the warm sun is often enough to get me through the winter. This year (and last year) I have to fill that void with other self care. You’ve given us some excellent self care tips here, and have reminded me that I need to book another float. Love and hugs my friend, Nicole

    • Thank you, my lovely friend. Apologies for the delayed response. I’m hoping you got that float in. I’m booking one for February. Also considering a visit to the Seaspa in Chester if it’s safe!
      Love and hugs right back to you!


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