Walk The Winter Blues Away

Do you have the winter blues?

Many people get depressed in winter or suffer from ‘the winter blues’. The medical name for the winter depression is seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The above abbreviation describes how many of us feel in winter. Despite merry winter festivities common in many countries, our mood tends to stay low most of the time. Why is that?

According to the NHS website, most scientists believe that the problem is related to the way our body responds to light or the lack of it. There is a theory that light entering the eye brings changes in hormone levels in the body. In our bodies, the light functions to stop the production of the sleep hormone melatonin and that makes us feel awake. It is possible that SAD sufferers are affected by shorter daylight hours in winter. They produce higher levels of melatonin and that causes lethargy and symptoms of depression.

If you are locked in the blues, more light may be the key to open the door back to joy. And if you are a dog owner, you have someone that can accompany you in your quest for light. Try going for a walk with your dog during daylight hours. And please, never miss a bright day! Your schedule might get in the way, but try to put yourself first and find a way to get that light into your life.

The other aspect of beating the blues is keeping active. Your dog can assist you with that in a wonderful way! You have many options available. Choose an activity that suits both you and your dog. Long-distance walking is a versatile and moderate activity that can benefit you tremendously. You can spice it up with playtime stops or jogging. For example, set yourself to walk to a remote location where you can play fetch with your dog. If you are an active type, engage your dog in tug-of-war or running session. I personally enjoy playing intense games with my young American Staffordshire Terrier friend. She is an active dog that needs to get rid of excess energy and I often suffer from low mood. It is a win-win situation!

Another advice applies if you live in a northern country that offers plenty of snow. There are many options to stay active when all you see is white. I live in Northern Ukraine in the countryside. We have plenty of snow here and a steady below 0 temperature. Local people complain about the weather all the time!

But nothing makes me feel more like a jolly child than playing snowballs and rolling in the snow with my family and our dogs. Dogs enjoy chasing snowballs and catching them while jumping around the snow like giant furry grasshoppers. It makes us all smile! I guess for them it is their ice-cream season. They definitely stay hydrated after eating all that snow.

mailo in the snow

Mailo surely enjoys this weather.

Walking in the deep snow is an exercise in its own right and it activates all your lower body muscles. You don’t have to speed up too much, a simple walk will get you tired pretty soon. Just keep breathing through your nose because inhaling cold air with your mouth might make your throat sore.

Imagine a sunny winter day when the snow is sparkling like diamonds against the cold blue sky – what a dramatic view! Or another favorite of mine: orange and pink sunset over the white horizon. And the last one: bright sun playfully hiding among the evergreen pine trees.


Perfectly even snow blanket.

There is no poor weather, but a need to learn the way to enjoy it.
Recently I’ve been reading information on the psychology of happiness and well-being. What surprised me is that the hot tropical countries do not make the happiest people but the Northern European ones. How do they stay happy if they live in a climate zone with prolonged winter and frequent grey days? It is all about their attitude and the way they approach life. That approach pays off even on a national scale, as these countries have better living standards in general. We should all turn to Norway or Denmark and ask them to share some wisdom.

The last thing I will suggest to beat the winter blues is a mug of hot chocolate topped with marshmallow or a cup of mulled wine if you are ready to relax. These drinks will help you attain the right attitude for the cold season. Enjoy!

I hope you have enjoyed this article and if you like to learn more, please, feel free to subscribe to this blog.

Also, if you like the topic of dogs, please check the book ‘Before You Get A Dog’ by Simone Burani. You will find the essential knowledge written in simple language to have a great time with your pet.

Kind regards,

Featured Image © Karyna Zaslavska (Mailo The Winter Dog)

If enjoyed this article, you may also like ‘When You And Your Dog Are Struck By Boredom’ by Simone Burani.