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Tips for Coping with the Winter Blues

This time of year, do you sometimes feel as though it’s been winter forever, and the cold and the gray are never going to end?  Maybe that sounds a little dramatic.  But it is normal to feel emotionally down and burnt out on winter by the time March comes around.  This struggle is real.

If you’re coping with an unexpected pregnancy right now, you may have a similar sense of discouragement about your pregnancy situation.  Perhaps it feels like your life is moving in slow motion (and possibly fast motion too).  Maybe it seems like you’re never going to move on from these difficult circumstances.  Don’t lose hope!  The road ahead may be challenging, but you have what it takes to persevere with courage and reach a positive outcome.  And you don’t have to brave this journey on your own.

If you need help navigating the early days of an unexpected pregnancy, reach out to Avenue Women’s Center!  We’re a first-step pregnancy clinic that offers limited medical services to empower women facing circumstances like yours.  With over forty years of experience, we understand how exhausting an unexpected pregnancy can feel… especially during the winter season when so many of us struggle with low mood (whether we’re unexpectedly pregnant or not).  We’re available to help you cope and ultimately find an outcome you feel confident in.

Learn more about our free, confidential services!  We provide medical-grade pregnancy tests, options consultations, limited medical ultrasounds, and more!

“Why Do I Feel This Way?”

In some cases, the winter blues can be severe enough to warrant a clinical diagnosis.  Some people who feel depressed continuously during the winter meet the criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  According to the Cleveland Clinic, “People with SAD may feel anxious or irritated for prolonged periods, timed around the winter months. They’re also likely to withdraw from social situations and have trouble concentrating.”  SAD is a kind of depressive disorder that calls for mental health treatment.  If you think you may be coping with SAD, it’s important to speak with a medical professional or professional counselor about this right away.

Most people who struggle with the winter blues do not meet the criteria for Seasonal Affective Disorder.  Their symptoms may be milder and less persistent than those of individuals with SAD (Cleveland Clinic).  Even if you don’t believe that you’re dealing with a mental illness, the gloomy feelings you may sometimes get in the wintertime could be causing concern… especially if you’re also managing an unexpected pregnancy.  Know that support is available!  There are steps you can take to cope effectively with the winter blues and the stress of your pregnancy.

Tips for Coping When the Winter Gloom Hits

Cleveland Clinic offers a few helpful insights on how to manage the winter doldrums and boost your mental/emotional wellness.  Consider trying some of these tips!

Expose yourself to light.

Sunlight is a great mood regulator, and it helps us maintain a balanced sleep-wake cycle.  Getting a healthy dose of sunlight can be especially difficult in the wintertime, when we experience shorter days, grayer skies, and colder temperatures.  However, there are ways to increase exposure to light no matter what time of year it is.  Consider going for a short walk, sitting near a window, or purchasing a lamp that simulates sunshine.

Get up and go.

It’s true that exercise is a mood booster. You may need to take some extra precautions due to the pregnancy, and- if you’re exercising outdoors- the winter weather.  There may be various options for indoor workouts that would be appropriate for your body during pregnancy.  Talk with your doctor about the exercise regimen that would be healthiest for you.

Nourish your body.

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “there are some foods that help release chemicals in your brain that are responsible for feelings like calmness, happiness and alertness.”  Research what kind of balanced diet would be healthiest for your unique body throughout this pregnancy and beyond.  Fruits like apples and bananas, and warm, comforting foods like oatmeal and vegetable soup are recommended to increase mood and optimize physical health during the winter season.

Check out Avenue’s blog, “Coping with an Unexpected Pregnancy in Winter” to continue exploring this subject!  This blog focuses on the importance of caring support during pregnancy and your ability to find beauty in every season of life… even this one.

It may feel as though your discouraging circumstances are stretching on and on, but, “this too shall pass.”  Avenue Women’s Center is here to help you cope with your pregnancy here and now, empowering you to lean into your own best outcome when the time comes to make a pregnancy decision.  We believe that every woman should experience the freedom of feeling informed in whatever path she chooses.  We seek to make this accessible for everyone by offering high-quality services at no cost.

Reach out to speak with an expert team member and schedule an appointment!  We’re a judgment-free zone.

*If you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, reach out for support immediately.  Contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988 if you’re having thoughts of harming yourself. 

*Avenue is a limited medical clinic that provides certain first-step pregnancy services at no cost.  We do not offer mental health treatment or counseling.  However, we can provide counseling referrals.  Reach out to a mental health professional if you need additional mental health support.



Cleveland Clinic.  (2022, December).  Winter Blues Got You Down?  Here’s How To Cope.  Retrieved from:

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.