As the winter continues on, hot chocolate is flowing and family gatherings seem to pop up weekly. Daylight hours are also getting shorter. As wintertime can be a tough time for many people, here are some queer folks that share their favorite ways to beat winter blues.
Keep a Routine
I think having a daily routine is really important to keeping myself sane in long, dark, Midwestern winters. Having places to be, and things to do, that are always part of my day helps it feel a little less difficult to leave my bed on tough days, and keeps me feeling like a complete person even when the sun goes down at 5 pm. It helps me maintain some amount of productivity, and interaction with the world during a season where both of those are easy to avoid. — Maddie Noorlander
Eat Leafy Greens
I eat lots of leafy greens. They’re really good this time of year and they keep me regular and I suspect (because of what I’ve read about the links between gut health and mental health) that they help me get through the gray Portland winters.I love sauteeing them quickly in a cast iron skillet and finishing with a squeeze of lemon if I have it or a little bit of the Trader Joe’s balsamic glaze I always have in my cabinet. — Rebecca Alexander
I have game nights with my pals. When we have game nights we play cards, catch up on each others lives, hold space for the hard winter blues, and laugh- A LOT! We drink a good bottle of wine and eat a great meal together. Sometimes we bundle up have a late night fire afterwards. — Beethoven Tiberius Thornton
I use Yes to Tomatoes charcoal mud mask (wash off) or CVS brand cooling Cucumber peel off facial mask when my skin starts to feel gross and stale. They only take 30–45 minutes to dry and it’s a quick (and affordable) way to do something nice for myself. I don’t have the money for expensive or one time masks. Yes to Tomatoes is affordable and refreshing and the CVS one is… well…. CVS brand. So you get a giant tube without breaking the bank. I alternate between the 2 based on how I’m feeling. — Cassi Segulin
I try to get out of town whenever I can and reset my head. I love cozy locations like mountains and forests, but sometimes it’s nice to head to the desert, too. I either like to go to any of the small towns out in the mountains in Eastern Oregon, or to Palm Springs, LA, Austin, really anywhere warm when I can afford it. — Suma Jane Dark
Build Traditions With Friends
I talk to friends about what I need from them as far as social support. It can be really hard to be someone who’s estranged from your family of origin during the holidays. It seems like there are constant reminders of how that’s “not normal”. My bestie and I now have a tradition of lasagna on Christmas Eve. I’m working on creating holiday traditions that center my friendships and make me feel held/supported. — Danielle Fleming
With these tips you can help keep your wintertime sunny and bright. What are your favorite ways to keep your mood up in the wintertime? Share them with me on Twitter!
About the Author:
Chaya Milchtein is the driving force behind Mechanic Shop Femme. As an automotive educator, speaker and writer, she’s made it her life’s mission to educate women and LGBT people about their cars. Her website also highlights her work on her other passion: empowering women to live their best lives in the bodies they have, through fashion and modeling. Chaya’s work has been featured in the Chicago Tribune, Go Magazine, and others. She lives with her fiancée and tortoise in Wisconsin. Follow her on twitter @mechanicfemme.