10 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues: Quarantine Edition

In this post: A list of 10 ways to beat the winter blues that are simple & really work. Easy ideas to make the winter months more enjoyable…no matter where you live!

how to beat the winter blues pin 2021 quarantine edition

The winter months can be brutal…and this year, in 2021, not only are we coping with the weather, we are also coping with a pandemic. No matter who you are or where you live, there are going to be days when you wish winter, and this pandemic, were behind you. The “winter blues” descend on me every year, and this year is no different. If you are the same, I’ve shared some ways below to make life easier. I’m also sharing a few new tips that pertain particularly to the isolation we feel as the result of being quarantined, so look for the sections that say “Update 2021.”

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

How to Beat the Winter Blues – Quarantine Edition

Begin With Breakfast

Begin your day with a good breakfast. I know you have heard this a million times, but it’s so important. I am a firm believer that when the day begins on a positive note, it continues that way. Click this link for some healthy breakfast suggestions.

Easy Healthy Breakfast Ideas & Recipes

Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated just makes you feel better, and you will be less likely to give into the winter blues. Drink plenty of water…and don’t forget to hydrate your skin. Dry, flaky skin is uncomfortable and you can avoid it by using a light body lotion. When I skip the lotion in the morning, I have an edgy feeling all day. My favorite lotion is plain old original scent Jergens. I know it’s not very glamorous, but it smells good and feels even better.

Update 2021: I still use Jergens, but it’s lovely to splurge on a new scented lotion. I recently discovered Eucalyptus Spearmint from Bath & Body Works, and it is truly wonderful!

window with light shining through

Let In The Light

Shorter days and dark skies can definitely make us gloomy. Combat those feelings by letting in the light. Here are a few ways to brighten your perspective:

    • Open the curtains all the way. (And ignore the dirty windows!)
    • Turn on lamps.
    • Light candles.
    • Add Vitamin D to your daily routine. 

pink roses in white pitcher

Necessary Pandemic Relief: Treat Yourself to Fresh Flowers

I believe that fresh flowers can transform a room…and they can definitely transform your day. Treat yourself to a bunch of flowers every now and then. I promise it will make you smile. 

Have a Cup of Tea

The British figured this out way before the Americans! Holding a cup of tea is comforting, and drinking a cup of tea is soothing and relaxing. It warms us up and simply makes everything better. 

blue tea cup printable with text

OSP email subscribers can download this tea inspired free printable (and three more) from the Members Only Library. If you are not on my list, but would like to join us and get this collection of blue teacup printables, click the button below. 

Blue Teacup Free Printables from On Sutton Place

Declutter & Clean

Sometimes our possessions can become overwhelming and out of control. When that happens, it’s difficult to relax and just “be” in our own homes. If you have used the quarantine time to clean and organize, yay for you! If you are dragging your feet, it’s not too late to conquer the clutter. Starting is sometimes the hardest part of any project, so start small. Clean out one drawer, or tidy one kitchen cabinet. The rest will follow. 

Update 2021: I just gave my kitchen counters a good cleaning and refreshed the decor. I cannot tell you what a difference it has made! Take a look {HERE} for the details. 

essential oils guide for women lavender pin with text

Beat the Winter Blues with Essential Oils

I believe in the power of essential oils. I believe they can improve our quality of life. My kids call them my “potions,” and I know the actual science behind them can be hard to understand. The honest truth is that I don’t even know the actual science behind them. All I know is that they help me feel better. Peppermint takes away aches and pains, Mind Alive refreshes and makes you feel more alert. Lavender relaxes you, and Lemon is a lovely addition to bottled or tap water. All of these things have the potential to help you get through a gloomy, winter day. 

Update 2021: one of my new favorite oils is Tranquility from Rocky Mountain Oils. I have been using it for about three months, mostly at bedtime, but also during the day. I use it topically, on the inside of my wrists, and on my neck. It slows down my mind, and helps me relax. If I’m feeling anxious, just breathing in the scent has a calming effect.

Take Time For Yourself & Exercise

Update 2021: These two tips go hand in hand…and if I had to pick my biggest struggles in life, even before the quarantine, it would be carving out time for myself, and exercising. I know exercise is necessary for our health. I know taking time for myself would benefit not only me, but those around me. I go through phases where I am very good at both, but inevitably I fall off the wagon, and return to my old habits. The past year, and dealing with the quarantine, has not been easy for anyone. Adjusting to working from home, virtual school, and the added stress have totally rearranged our lives. Finding some “me time” has become more difficult than ever. 

Here’s the thing though…because of all of that, it’s more important than ever to take time for yourself. Exercise would, of course, be wonderful…but it that’s not always possible, escape to your room and watch a show on your iPad, or read a book. If it relaxes you to be in your kitchen, plan a bread-baking afternoon, or make a special dinner. Truthfully, it doesn’t matter what you do, but do something for yourself. Make sure it’s something that you love, and something that will help you face another day. 

tips for sheltering in place stay connected iphone

Quarantine Edition Tips

Stay Connected

Nothing lifts my spirits more than when I get a text message from my kids, or a phone call from a friend. Staying connected to our family and friends is a vital part of maintaining our mental health during this pandemic. If you are feeling blue or lonely, just reach out. Send a text or email, or pick up the phone. The simple act of connecting with another human being will lift your spirits, and make getting through the day much easier. 

Grant Yourself Grace

I read not too long ago that granting yourself grace is nothing more than making excuses. I totally and categorically disagree…and here’s why. Grace means forgiving ourselves for making mistakes, and it means showing ourselves the kindness we show to others. It means allowing ourselves to be human, and embracing our imperfections. So if you have a bad day, or a bad week, know you are not alone. Grant yourself grace, and just strive to do better. We cannot ask more from ourselves than that. 

I hope you found a few tips to add to your arsenal of tricks to beat the winter blues during this quarantine. My wish for all of you is that the coming months are  productive, healthy, and happy. Until next time…

Disclosure: 

The information contained here is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent illness or disease. The information represents what I have chosen to do to take charge of my own personal health. Information found on this site is meant for informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health and well being decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your healthcare provider. It should not be relied upon to determine a medical diagnosis, or courses of treatment.

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36 Comments

  1. Jergens original scent, it takes me back to thoughts of my mother! I’ll look into your other suggestion also!
    Love your blog so much! Thank you for taking the time to write these up. I have used so many of your ideas and recipes!

  2. MARY-ANN (FROM CANADA!) says:

    Such a wonderful “winter” post today, Ann! You are such a blessing! Have a great week!

  3. Marie Frances Valum says:

    Thank you Ann for such positive ideas for brightening our winter days! I plan to give some of them a try! Your blog is one of my favorites. Enjoy your day and again, thank you❤️

  4. Grant yourself grace, what an important message.

  5. I always have fresh flowers bought from local grocery stores in my home. I purchase 2 or 3 inexpensive bouquets and arrange them in two tall vases & a smaller vase. That way I can have them in more than one room. They last about two weeks with preservatives added.
    I enjoy a cup of tea or latte during the day and of course always a great mystery book is at my side ready to read!
    I bought several kinds of inexpensive tiny white lights wrapped around topiary trees in my foyer and use battery operated candles throughout my home. This brightens and warms up my home as well! Happy Winter! ˚⛄.❅

  6. Very nice ideas to counteract the winter blues. I enjoyed them and will put some of them right into practice. Thanks for sharing! Can’t wait for Spring!

  7. All of these suggestions are wonderful – I do them all! I think everyone has a project they have been putting off. Right now I am working on a project that I have put off for 2 years. We had a beautiful Ethan Allen hutch for many years – the top looked more colonial than the transitional style we favor now. I eliminated the big top and had planned on painting the bottom portion and put on new hardware. It is a big focal point in our kitchen. I started prepping it last weekend, and I plan on having the project completed in the next 14 days. I will be picking up paint samples tomorrow, something in an uplifting blue. I have also just ordered a custom Roman blind for my kitchen. I’m excited about both projects, and they aren’t costing a ton of money. Another suggestion is one my husband and I just did together – he is a non-cook, but he loves stuffed shells. We made homemade ricotta and sauce and had a great dinner that he had made with my help, as well as put two dinners in the freezer. We did this one snowy day, put on music, and had a glass of wine. Simple pleasures are the best.

  8. Teddee Grace says:

    I must be in the minority. I love winter and all of the excuses it gives me to just stay inside, snuggle, layer up, cook, read and enjoy crafts. I hate hot weather so fall and winter suit me perfectly. However, I enjoyed all of your suggestions for self care and they seem to be a good idea no matter the season. I have spent the last several weeks packing up what I refer to as my winter décor, because I make sure it is not so “Christmasy” that it can’t stay up almost until Valentine’s Day, and replacing it with more spring-like décor, including three faux fern pots, with only a touch of Valentine’s Day that can quickly be removed after Friday. I don’t like primary colors so the red of Valentine’s Day presents a real issue. I’ve got a bit in my kitchen, but went more toward maroon and green in a floral arrangement I made for the hallway outside my apartment that seems to be receiving some positive comments. It all keeps me busy and although we have received about 18 inches of fresh snow in the last week or so, the sun is shining brightly over the Rocky Mountain foothills and I think it will be in the mid-30s today so I may just have to bundle up and go play in the snow.

    1. Sue Daugherty says:

      I am right there with you. Fall and winter are my two favorite seasons. I don’t remember what country it comes from but there is a saying about winter: There is no bad weather, only bad clothing. I love a walk while it’s snowing. Magical.

  9. Ann Hardy says:

    Ann, thank you so much for this timely post. We are battening down on the coast of NC for yet another winter blow. Thanks for the pep talk!! I always look forward to your posts but this one was just what I needed today. :)

  10. Carol@BlueskyatHome says:

    Excellent ideas Ann. I especially like the get away to a warm place!! That’s not going to happen, but having fresh flowers, scented candles and cozy throws around always brightens my mood. I’m a tennis player so getting out on the courts is my way to get exercise and feel invigorated. Unfortunately, today is raining and cloudy so no tennis. I love the idea of trying essential oils. Again, thank you for the suggestions.

  11. Amy Kaminski says:

    I’ll just throw this out there because I’m a regular with your blog. I’ve been using the Body Groove CD’s for the past month and have noticed a big difference in my attitude and general mood. These CD dance like moves that are suitable for all ages. They are fairly inexpensive and convenient to use in your own home. But most of all I find them fun. They are floating all around Facebook right now so you might have seen them. I don’t work for them or anything like that. I’m just a gal that has been using them and likes it, so I thought I would pass it on. Your ideas here are wonderful. Especially the calming oil. I might give that a try.

  12. Cheryl Ann says:

    Thank you for this blog. You have a serene and calm way of presenting good life choices. I am grateful to you for this message of self care and ways to improve gray days. This time of year can be a struggle to get out and move, for me. You are a blessing!

  13. This email was perfect timing! I have been suffering the winter blues. I will be brewing a cup of tea today!

    Thanks.

  14. Everyone of your tips is wonderful – Thank you! I use a diffuser with lemon or peppermint oil at my desk, and keep fresh flowers as often as I can. I attend a yoga class on Saturday mornings, I stretch while watching Classical Stretch in the evenings and they have all improved my health and mood. The days are longer now and I heard a bird singing this morning, so Spring is just around the corner.

  15. Adding a few pieces of Spring dinnerware and linens to the dining room table helps add some brightness to the room for me. Also lets me do a bit of purging in the area that I keep dishes.

  16. KittyLuvr says:

    Beautifully written!!! Thanks for so many good tips!

    1. I agree that fresh flowers especially yellow tulips lift my spirits at the time of year where it seems winter will never end. Thanks for all your great ideas . My crocus and a few daffodils are blooming so spring can’t be far behind. Here in N.C. we have had endless rain and may need an ark if it doesn’t let up!

  17. Sandi Magle says:

    Well, at first I was going to just scan—your post. But, there are some really worthwhile ideas here. I’ve always looked at January as vacation time—and time to rejuvenate my brain, my home, my direction. As an artist, I always took January off to do all those things—take in some museums, do some retail window shopping, and when I had a business– to attend trade shows. So, now that I’m retired—your suggestions just reminded me of what January is really for—a new beginning and a time to look forward! Thanks for the great post. Sandi

  18. Ann, yours is my favorite blog, and when you said your favorite lotion was original scented Jergens, I knew we were sisters. Thanks so much for these ideas and oh, so many others! You’re great!

  19. Victoria Golojuch says:

    I love your blog! It is always filled with beautiful decor and decorating ideas, printables that I love and healthy, happy suggestions to make life a little bit more beautiful. Such a pleasure to open up your emails daily.

  20. Laurie Galloway says:

    Greetings from the Lone Star State, Ann,
    As a native Buckeye, w/family still there, I can relate to those ‘winter blues’. For me, they take the form of post-holiday letdown. Company gone, parties over, my home feeling a bit naked after all the glitter and bright Xmas colors, so your email was especially timely. I’m following your tips about self-care and small projects. I’m especially thankful for not feeling alone in my ‘blah’s’ and for your beautiful blue tea cup pictures. Downloading ASAP!

    Wishing you a week of sunshiney skies,
    Laurie

  21. I have lived my whole life in the northeast,the gloomy winter days are behind me now having moved to the sunshine state.Since taking down the Christmas decorations,I have been decluttering and repurposing items in my home with a new coat of paint,I love small projects and the feeling of less is more.I appreciate all your tips and hope you have a mild winter with more sun than clouds !!

  22. Thank you for the Blue Cup series. That’s a special gift.
    This was a great post for me today. Believe it or not, we do have some cold, dreary days in Northeast Florida. Nothing like you have in Ohio of course. (We lived in Cleveland three years)
    The main difference is our houses are not warm like they are up north. Ours are built for hot weather. The temps have to drop really low outside for our heat to come on. I am always 🥶.😀

  23. lovely thoughts, just one more: dress for the weather and step outside if only for 10 minutes and breath in gratitude………………………….

    peace,
    piela1992@yahoo.com

    1. LORRI RAUSCHER says:

      That burst of fresh air has to make you feel great and Alive. Nothing wrong with a nice walk around the block to get legs moving.
      Lorri

  24. Thank you for your simple yet practical suggestions!

  25. Love the ideas! I have done many of them for years since I live in the northeast. I buy fresh flowers from the grocery store and they last a while. Just getting out and walking is great exercise as well. Thanks for all these great tips. Haven’t tried essential oils yet, so I will have to give them a try. We are snowed in today, first snow of 2019!

  26. Ann, I have never actually followed a blog before until now. (so many are just full of themselves) Yours is refreshing, informative, and I really enjoy reading it . Love your craft ideas and printables too.
    Thanks!

  27. So many good ideas to keep us motivated! I decided since it’s 2019, I am going to learn 19 new things this year. Right now I am knitting my first pair of socks! (Maybe that should count as two :) ) I keep busy with projects to beat the winter blues.

    1. Mary,
      What a great idea!

  28. Sally Rattey says:

    Have been using Jergens Original Scent for years and love it. It works!

  29. Kathy Menold says:

    Bought a small bunch of white Alstromeria at the grocery store yesterday and after conditioning them divided them into 3 boquets. Two were put into small mercury cases and put up on my mantle and the third bunch used for making a vignette on my kitchen counter with a bowl of little oranges and a white lantern with a snowflake cutout. Little cost but major effect! Having a winter storm today so will stay inside and get that cup of tea and a good book. Thanks Ann for all your lovely ideas for our homes.

  30. Daisy Dianne Bromlow says:

    Fall and winter are my favorite months so I love winter – those grey, dreary, rainy, Cold days make me especially happy and content. I’m an upbeat type person , my glass is always three fourths full. I do enjoy my tea several times a day – I feel Alive and Rejuvenated this time of year – wish All of you did.

    1. Thank you, Daisy! Those dreary days that provide an opportunity to stay inside with a good book and a cup of tea should make us content.

  31. Love all your suggestions. We are lucky enough to get more sun than in the northern areas but the cold wind is our killer. Fresh flowers and tea. Earl Gray, please. Have a Starbucks London Fog.
    Strong Earl Gray, vanilla syrup and a dash of whole milk. My next step is to download your ‘Cup of Tea’ to couple it with. Warm hugs to you.