Battling the Winter Blues: Tips for Staying Positive During the Mid Year Doldrums


written by Sarah Levant, Corps Member serving on the Spingarn High School Team

During the winter months, everyone feels the urge to stay snuggled under the warm covers on a Monday morning.  Studies show that with less light, warmth, and physical activity people are more prone to lethargy and even depression.  For City Year corps members, working long hours in a challenging environment tests our ability to maintain a positive attitude.  Many corps members leave for school before the sun rises and return home after it has set.  With a few simple steps, we can all avoid the winter blues.  The five tips below are how I stay on track to spread positivity to friends, family, and, of course, my students:

1. Set achievable goals (Don’t forget those New Year’s Resolutions!)

By keeping goals in sight, days and weeks pass by quickly.  For me, nothing gives instant gratification like crossing out a goal on my weekly to-do list.

2. Never lose sight of what you can accomplish today.

Whether it’s holding the door for someone you don’t know or giving a little extra attention to a student in the classroom, small gestures can make a difference in someone else’s day.

3. Have a dance party in front of the mirror

What better way to start your day than to groove to the beat while you brush your teeth? Plus, playing some happy tunes in the morning can improve your mood and energize you for the day ahead!

4. Physical Activity = Improved Mental Activity

As a City Year corps member, it is hard to find any extra minute in the day, let alone enough time for a full workout.  A couple of times a week, I work out for ten minutes to YouTube exercise videos.  By setting aside time to exercise, I am less likely to feel anxious or depressed and better equipped to take on the challenges of my day.

5. TREAT YOURSELF (you deserve it.)

Whether you enjoy a hot cup of cocoa with marshmallows or a potluck with teammates, be sure to do what feels good to you so that you can recharge and be ready to go every day.

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One response to “Battling the Winter Blues: Tips for Staying Positive During the Mid Year Doldrums

  1. I absolutely agree. For those of us with limited income, the YMCA offers scholarships so some people can pay for membership at a very low rate. Going to the Y has been my refugee. Find your happy place!

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