5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues as a Teacher

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You get up and go to school and it's dark and freezing. When you leave school, it's also dark and freezing. Then you repeat, only seeing the sunlight on the weekends, and even then, it's still freezing. Sound familiar? If you find yourself suffering from the winter blues, try these tips:

1. Invest in warm clothes & outerwear. If you live somewhere freezing like me (Chicago!) go ahead and get the warmest of everything you can find. When I first moved here and bought $200 snow boots from L.L. Bean, it was the most expensive clothing purchase I had ever made. But this is my fifth winter wearing them every day, and L.L. Bean even fixed them for free for me when the back seam busted (I walked a mile plus to and from public transit every day). #worthit #notsponsored

2. Plan a trip or staycation. If it's in the budget, plan a quick trip somewhere warm over a long weekend. If it's not (and realistically for most teachers, it's not), try a "staycation" somewhere warm close by. My new favorite thing is to spend the day at the Korean spa. It's $35 for a day pass ($24 if you get your pass at the Asian grocery store next store, which obviously I do) and it's full of hot baths and saunas. No affordable spas near by? Try indoor botanical gardens or a conservatory. 

3. Exercise. Getting up and moving might be the last thing you feel like doing, but we all know it can energize you and boost your mood. If you hate the gym like me, try a yoga class or even a fitness video on YouTube. I find it especially effective to schedule that ish! I go to yoga twice a week on the same nights, which keeps me from having to re-motivate myself to go each time because it's already on the schedule.

4. Get a SAD lamp. While light therapy lamps are technically for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, they can help the rest of us soak up a little faux sunlight too. I would put mine on as I was getting ready in the morning and eating my breakfast before going to school.

5. Stay social. Chicago winters make me want to curl up in a blanket and leave my apartment never. BUT ultimately this isn't going to help your mood, though of course you should rest when you need to! Try organizing a staff happy hour or attending a weekly club or class.

While hopefully these tips will help you get out of a winter funk, if you find you are suffering from depression during the winter months, be sure to talk to your doctor or psychiatrist. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing! 

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