Prevent the winter blues

Only when you look at it more closely does it become clear that relatively many people suffer from the winter blues, or autumn fatigue as we also call it. Typical, because there is enough information about it and what you can do about it. Prevention is better than cure… but you have to do something!

When do you have a winter blues?

If you have some (or in the worst case all) of the symptoms listed below, there is a good chance that you are suffering from the winter blues.

  • Fatigue that won’t go away.
  • You sleep a lot but not effectively, because you wake up unrested.
  • You are gloomy and don’t see the positive side of things. Tendency towards depressive behavior.
  • You have concentration problems.
  • You have less (or no) need for intimacy or sex.
  • You are irritable.
  • You postpone contacting other people and even (preferably) avoid all social contact.
  • You will eat more carbohydrates (think pasta or potatoes) and as a result you will gain a few kilos in weight.


How to act?

You can often prevent it by acting differently than before, but even if you are already in it, the aspects below can help. You may have to push yourself and admonish yourself, but it is worth it. Someone close to you may be able to support you in taking action. A supportive environment can be very important.


Nothing is as good as going outside and no matter how easy it is in the warm months, how difficult it becomes for many people to do this during the cold months. Not so much because of smoothness, for example, because that is still understandable, but more because it simply does not feel pleasant. However, that is a given if you live in the Netherlands and so it depends on the climate whether or not you will definitely go out into the sun. Confirming also means that if you dress yourself well, you can withstand the weather. The reason why people still fail to do so is that it feels less pleasant when you go outside. You cannot always protect your face from rain or chilly wind and this means that many people stay indoors feeling sour. If you do that long enough, you will have identified a very important part of why people develop or already have the winter blues.

Although it is about more than that, going outside every day is the best remedy. It is fine to be well dressed, possibly provided with lint outside and to go for a walk, preferably in an environment that you like. If you go outside well dressed and not focused on the weather, you will see more. That makes sense, because you can concentrate on your surroundings and nature is beautiful, even during the cold months. Whether this is in the local park, the green area on the edge of the city or you delve into the forest. Outside you experience the peace, quiet and nature and you see daylight, which is a very important aspect to combat the winter blues. Enjoy what you see and let it dawn on you that nature continues as usual even during the cold months.

Replacement light

There may always be reasons why you cannot go outside and then light therapy may be an option. Daylight is preferred, because in addition to daylight you also get exercise. But assuming that it is not always possible, a variety of light therapy is something that can work to keep your bodily function and behavior stable and not disrupt your biological clock.

This works by exposing the eyes to an intense light source. The eyes are in contact with your biological clock and can thus simulate that your day has really started. The important biological processes are thus initiated.
Light therapy can take place both in the hospital and at home. The home devices are just as safe. The only disadvantage is that you will usually not be reimbursed by the insurer.

To enjoy

If going into nature or using light therapy makes you feel better again, it is good to look at the overall picture of your environment. This includes the people you surround yourself with, your environment such as your home and your work.
What matters here is positivity or lack thereof. If you surround yourself with the right people, people who are always negative or sour can influence you if you are sensitive to that. It is better to surround yourself with people who want to go for something and have a meaning in life. This does not mean that they have to be positive people par excellence, because not everyone is like that, but they are people who also emphasize positive things, can enjoy something, etc. The positivity also has an impact on the man or woman with a (beginning) winter blues. .
This also applies to your living and working environment. What is that environment like? During the dark months, do you also bring in the sun, as it were, or do you live in a gloomy manner (colours can play an important role in this). Try to think of what makes you happy and bring it into your home. Do you do work that you hate or do you regularly enjoy going to work? If your work does not provide energy, look for another job or try to add positive aspects to your current work. This is very personal and you must complete it yourself. If the work environment is not hostile, your employer can also play an excellent supporting role. After all, this also benefits the employer himself.


These are preconditions that you can influence and which have a huge impact on people who suffer from the winter blues. Fill it in yourself, but try to see the glass half full rather than half empty and if the right environment contributes to this, you will have that sometimes important support.

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