Surviving Winter and Depression

February 18, 2015 Jennifer Tazzi

I find the harsh winter weather we’ve been having tends to exacerbate my depression symptoms. The shorter days and winter weather leave me feeling depleted. Looking out my window, there is a sea of white. Everywhere I go there are piles of snow and ice. I am tired of bundling up in a long coat and snow boots just to go outside. I am tired of the cold. I want to hibernate until spring. But hibernation isn’t the answer to surviving winter and depression.

Effects of Winter on Depression

The shorter days and harsher weather of winter make me feel like staying in where it’s warm. Sometimes this leads to reduced social contact and isolation. This can be a depression trigger since social support and contact is so important for helping to manage and keep depression at bay.

Staying in due to weather also means my gym routine tends to slip by the wayside in colder months. And cold weather means I’m less likely to take a walk outside. Lack of exercise can negatively affect mood.

The winter can worsen depression but read these tips on surviving the winter with depression to fight back.

I also find that cold weather can encourage me to turn more to comfort foods and to reduce the amount of fruits and vegetables that I eat. And an unhealthy diet can affect depression. I’m finding it a challenge to eat healthy lately.

The winter months can be challenging, no doubt, especially for those of us prone to depression. What helps?

Exercise and Depression

One area that I have found that helps with depression is exercise. And the good news is that I have found that even a little bit can help when it comes to mood. When I am indoors most of the day, a quick, 10 minute walk outside can help wake me up and help head off a depression. Being out in the sun helps too, even when the weather is cold.

Social Contact and Depression

Winter and the cold can mean fighting the urge to isolate. And social support can be a buffer to depression. Though it can be tempting to cancel plans when the weather is cold, social connection can go a long way toward buoying mood. I have found that even when I don’t have specific plans, just being out among other people can help.

Surviving Winter and Depression

We are not alone in our depressions worsening because of winter. Winter, with its short days, darkness and cold, can be hard on most. Many of us are looking forward to the return of longer days and more mild weather. And soon enough it will be here.

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APA Reference
Tazzi, J. (2015, February 18). Surviving Winter and Depression, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Jennifer Tazzi

Jennifer Tazzi
March, 4 2015 at 11:16 am

Thanks, Lauren!

March, 2 2015 at 11:06 am

Great article! I am often down in the winter time. I can't wait to see the sun and I am definitely ready for spring time.

Jennifer Tazzi
February, 27 2015 at 8:59 am

Dear Patti,
Good effort!

February, 24 2015 at 6:38 am

i find I don't even take the garbage out. I think I will try that tonite

February, 23 2015 at 3:03 pm

Amazing article! I am always on the lookout for new helpful insights regarding depression.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Jennifer Tazzi
February, 27 2015 at 8:57 am

Thanks, Dr. T. Glad it resonated!

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