Date ideas for pushing through Seasonal Affective Disorder


Many dread the approaching winter — the darkness, frigid weather and lower energy levels that blow in along with cold fronts and snowstorms. Early darkness adds to the struggle. We’ve heard from an overwhelming number of couples who say it annually tanks their partners, and in turn, their romance routine. We studied couples in the coldest parts of the world, where winters are the longest. They say they don’t dread the winter, and offered us some tangible counsel on how to turn the tables on the wintertime blues.


Look at winter as an opportunity to dive into activities that you only participate in during this specific time of year.Have hobbies that you spend time fostering once fall officially closes and winter begins. The same way certain holidays or anniversaries make room for traditions, let the weather change become a tradition too. Look for ones that can be achieved indoors when you can’t get out, as well as ones that force you to get out (even if that doesn’t mean outdoors, but outside your mental & emotional four walls).


During the warmer months, set aside a budget that allows you to purchase supplies to support these winter hobbies.Buy board games. Puzzles. Electronic games. Books you’ll read to one another. Almost like presents you get to unwrap annually. Then store them away when spring hits. Maybe form a share circle with a handful of other couples who could rotate those for cost effectiveness.


In the summer or fall, send invites to a handful of people to participate in:

  • A snowball fight once there’s snow to hold one.

  • A build a snow fort together for the neighborhood kids.

  • Hold an annual create a celebrity look alikesnowman contest that family and friends from all over the country can send submissions in and do a social media page sharing them which you update each year.


Instead of going to movies or renting them when a new one debuts, collect a list and agree to hold off seeing them until the cold sets it.You could do an annual marathon day, or just savor ones that you’ve eagerly awaited spread out. Maybe host a showing if you know others who might want to share in this tradition. Form a pact with friends, or another couple swearing off the latest episode release. *Note: You can even pull this off by facetiming with someone else while on multiple computers.


Norwegians embrace the idea of “koselig,” or “coziness” – that making the conscious effort to light candles and fires, drink warm beverages and snuggle under blankets can be enjoyable and relaxing. We highly suggest a time or two of that as winter passes. But at the same time, add a kicked up foodie couple time to the list. Purpose yourselves to cook with one another, and focus those meals on bright and colorful/flavorful meals.Don’t pander to the “comfort food” mentality, but rather, shoot for something that truly leaves you feeling energized and purposefully focused on health & wellness.


Our last take away from our Norwegian advisers:  Taking the time to bundle up and get outside even in the worst weather can help you feel like winter isn’t limiting your opportunities for recreation.Norwegians have a saying that “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing,” which typifies their ingrained belief that being active is part of a happy life – and, especially, a happy winter.


Kudos to: Kari Leibowitz Ph. D. for her input.