The Winter Blues are real, and they impact just about everybody. Because of how our bodies are wired, we can’t escape all of the effects of winter — but we aren’t entirely at the mercy of our circadian rhythm and Vitamin D deficiency.

Here are 8 tips for staying motivated in the dead of winter that will allow you to come out of this season as a winner:


The key to not letting the gloomy, cold weather get to you is to not act any differently from when it is hot and sunny outside. Keep moving forward with your healthy routine during all seasons of the year. For example, if you run outside every morning in the summer, find a way to exercise every morning in the winter (maybe an indoor cycling class or a Peloton run). Keeping your routine going will help you avoid waking up a few minutes before you need to head out the door, or laying down on the couch all evening once you get home from work.


Whether it’s a vacation, a staycation, or a spa day, plan something you can do in the winter that you can look forward to. This will help keep you motivated to get things done, if you have a reward at the end of all your hard work! It can also make the time go by faster when it feels like February just won’t end.


Intentional breaks from devices are good for your mental health. It allows you to soak in the present moment but also keeps you from mindlessly scrolling in a way that can easily eat up hours of your time. When the season can already make you feel depressed, you don’t want to make them worse for yourself. Be especially careful with how much screen time you rack up on weekends — spending 8 hours a day in front of your TV or scrolling on social media when you have free time can wind up making you feel worse.


One of the biggest challenges of winter is the early sunsets and lack of natural light. Thus, the little amount of light we do get, you should be absorbing it all in. Open up your curtains during the day to let the sun’s rays into your home. If you can, go outside during the day for a walk as well. This will help boost your mood more than anything as the sun stimulates Vitamin D production and the exercise helps release serotonin.


Keeping your body moving, whether you do a full workout or a short walk every day. Exercise is crucial for your mental health (and of course physical health) — and so many people let it slip in the dead of winter.


During this time of the year, you may need to take on some new habits you wouldn’t need to do during the summer time. These are habits that can help you intentionally bring some positivity into your life, such as reflecting on your day every evening and highlighting the things that went right and which made you happy in your day.


With the wintertime being a great time to do more indoor activities, this is your opportunity to gather with friends and family, and maybe even try a new activity. Whether it’s inviting friends over to enjoy a meal together, or visit your parents every Sunday — look for ways to surround yourself with the people you love and enjoy spending time with. It may feel easier to simply isolate yourself from everyone in the winter, but honing in on the relationships you have and spending time with them will help keep your spirits up.


The winter months are pretty long when you’re doing the same old thing every day. It can easily start feeling like groundhog day! Pick up a few new hobbies whether it is a new winter sport or creative outlet to keep you busy this winter season. Set some goals for these new hobbies so you have exciting things to do and to look forward to.

Remember that it’s also okay that you don’t feel motivated every single day; it happens. But being proactive by building on these tips as much as you can helps you maximize the number of things you can accomplish during the long Winter months.