Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer
Beating the Winter Blues.

Beating the Winter Blues

I have never experienced a “real winter” before and that is all about to change. About seven months ago my family moved from Southern California to the great Midwest. Growing up, we would visit the mountains often for skiing and vacations but I have never lived anywhere that has all four seasons. It is starting to get downright cold lately and being outdoors is starting to really kick up my asthma symptoms. It’s hard to not get sad and bummed out when the frigid temperatures prevent me from doing everything that I want to do. I asked some of my asthmatic friends for advice on how to handle the winter blues and keep them away.

Find Indoor Activities

When it is just too darn cold to be outside, don’t let that keep you from being as active as you can. Sometimes just getting out of the house for a change of scenery can really help boost your spirits. I like going to an indoor mall and just walking around. I can go at the pace that I want and spend a morning or afternoon window shopping. Meeting a friend for a meal is also a great reason to get out of the house. Another great place to visit is your local library. Often times the library will host events and workshops, and if that is not your style, find a cozy chair and get lost in a book for a few hours!

Don’t be a Social Hermit

If you are unable to get out as often as you would like during the cold winter months, try to still stay connected with friends and family. Living two thousand miles away from my family has made it really hard for me. When I’m feeling down, a phone call to a family member or close friend definitely helps lift my spirits. These days social media is another great way to connect with people. There are many asthma specific groups out there that are an amazing source of support. We are all dealing with asthma and can relate to each other on levels that people who don’t have asthma just can’t understand.

Stay Busy

For me, I find that if I stay busy I am less sad or bummed out. I am a planner and I make it a point to keep a paper planner and write out what my goals and plans are for each week. I make it a point to mix in fun with daily household duties and chores. My children keep me on my toes and we love to spend time doing crafts and playing games together, especially when the weather isn’t favorable.

Talk About it

Like our physical health, our mental health is also so important. Society has come a long way with normalizing talking about our mental health but there is still a long way to go. When we start to feel sad, frustrated, scared, or lonely it is imperative that we talk about it. Keeping those thoughts and feelings bottled up inside can actually make asthma symptoms kick up. Stress and extreme emotions can be huge asthma triggers.

Preparing and writing this post has been surprisingly therapeutic for me. I’ll be sure to follow what I have written about and not let myself be overcome with the winter blues. I’d love to hear your tips and tricks that you have found as well!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Asthma.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • JanetH
    2 years ago

    I’ve lived in Michigan all my life, including over a decade in the Upper Peninsula. As I get older, I don’t tolerate bitter cold as well as when I was in, say, my 20s or 30s. Another suggestion I have is to take advantage of the slightly warmer days you can get outside for some sort of physical activity: a walk, skiing, skating, making snowmen with your kids, etc. as long as you can handle it. Of course, make sure your rescue inhaler is in your pocket. Talk to your dr. about if you should use a rescue inhaler before venturing out in the cold.

    Another suggestion is to find an indoor activity, such as yoga, tai chi, lifting weights, etc. that you can participate in to stay fit. Staying active sure helps my winter blues.

  • Richard Faust
    2 years ago

    Thanks for writing JanetH. I noticed you mentioned not being able to tolerate the cold as well as you used to. Don’t know if you are aware that there is actually a test to determine one’s tolerance to cold air. One of our contributors writes about the cold air challenge test in this article: https://asthma.net/living/warming-winter-challenges-cold-air/. Who knew! Best, Richard (Asthma.net Team)

  • aguilarwheezing7
    2 years ago

    Hi Theresa,
    I was born and raised in Chicago and know what harsh winters are like. I used to love the cold clean air. Not anymore since I was diagnosed with asthma a few years ago! My asthma is triggered by allergens as well as cold air, exercise and stress. Although I don’t like to use my corticosteriod inhaler too much (denial), I can’t kid myself. I find that it really helps with the cold wind and with my pets. Not to mention that I get a good night’s sleep. Without it I was coughing all night and sleeping sitting up on the couch. Not fun! I like to walk along the lakefront and my corticosteriod in conjunction with my rescue inhaler make it possible for me to do that. I really enjoying meditating or just being still. It centers me and helps me not freak out when having an asthma attack. Hot coffee, cocoa or tea also helps. Lastly a pretty scarf to cover my mouth also helps.

  • WheezyMe
    2 years ago

    Hello Theresa, thanks for sharing!
    I’ve also been dealing with harder winters for the past years. At first I used to hate them: Each year, when winter began, I just wished it to be over. Over time I learned how to handle my asthma better: Enjoying indoor activities, warming my house, drinking hot beverages, dressing warm etc all help a lot.
    And of course, asthma medications can really make a difference.
    Have a nice winter, everyone!

  • Poll