• Health

Say Goodbye to Winter Blues

Okay winter, we get it. You’re not going away anytime soon. While this season is paradise for snow-day-loving schoolkids, it’s unfortunately more of a hostage situation for homebound freelancers.

Ready to rise above the winter blues? If you’re lacking the funds or the time for a tropical vacation, try out these fast, mostly free strategies to conquer cabin fever.

**Bright colors: wear them! Eat them! **This very morning, a friend’s coral t-shirt caught my eye. When I complimented it, she said she’s wearing fun colors to combat all the lame weather. How brilliant is that?

People, you are not obligated to limit your color palette to the current season. Scientifically, bright colors are known to improve moods. Unscientifically, I’m always thrilled to see orange polka dots instead of another beige sweater.

While you’re at it, make your meals more colorful. Have you ever made soup from scratch? How about roasted butternut squash, brussels sprouts, and cranberries? Or avocado, grapefruit, and edamame salad? The options are endless.

Host a potluck coworking day. If you can’t come to our NYC pop-up coworking week (or you just can’t muster the courage to leave your house), invite your freelance friends over for a coworking day. Better yet, make your life easier by inviting them over for a potluck coworking day.

This strategy has multiple benefits -- you get to eat good food, hang out with pals, and still be productive. Plus, you’ll probably clean before your friends show up, and it’s always nice to be in a clean house. Remember: if you host it, they will come.

**Switch up your surroundings. **I don’t mean take a vacation...but if you’re able to, what are you doing? Pack your bags, figure out how to be a nomadic freelancer, and don’t come back until beach season. If you’re stuck at home, however, it’s time to jazz up your environment. Think of it this way: you’re crawling the walls because your walls have looked the same since you moved in. Buy affordable art or do an art swap, light an unseasonably scented candle (no more Frasier fir. Christmas is over.), get new pillows for the couch, buy a different brand of coffee, etc. Go wild!

Exercise. Winter weather tends to encourage laziness. Why schlep all the way to the gym when you can cozy under a blanket and watch Netflix?

Here’s a life lesson: I made my triumphant, post-holiday return to the gym last week and I felt AMAZING. And it affected the rest of my day. I was energized to run errands, finish projects, and just generally do things other than refresh Twitter. To quote my husband, “Wow. You should go to the gym every day.”

In these wonderful modern times, you don’t even need a gym membership to get a good workout. This list recommends a bunch of online workout videos, and if you’re sitting at the computer too much, we have some stretches for you.

Go outside (there are cute dogs). Even if you don’t want to, it’s probably a good idea to breathe some fresh air. There’s the whole Vitamin D factor, but mostly, there are adorable dogs. Dogs wearing boots and coats. It’s almost enough to make you love winter.

So tell us, freelancers: how do you beat the winter blues?