10 Ways to fight the Winter Blues – San Juan Island Style

It’s that time of the year. The holidays are over, the sun hasn’t been seen for weeks, it’s cold and dark and drizzly outside and you know it’s going to stay like this for, well, let’s just say “a while”. Do not despair. There are plenty of things you can do to brighten your days and mood:

Come up to the island for a few days and fight the Winter Blues San Juan Island style.

San Juan's longest beach, South Beach on San Juan Island
San Juan's longest beach, South Beach

1.  Get your Vitamin D

San Juan Island lays in the Olympic Rain shadow, enjoys an average of 250 sunny days per year and receives about half the rainfall of Seattle. Put on your boots and head to one of San Juan Island’s breathtaking beaches for an exhilarating walk. Place your beach blanket in a sunny cove out of the wind, sunbathe (yes, really) and watch for wildlife. Skip stones, fly a kite or make a bonfire to get your heart pumping and blood moving. Exercise and fun outdoors boost your serotonin levels and metabolism for hours to come. And an extra bonus – you can enjoy dessert without guilt later!

Tops'l Restaurant, San Juan Island, Washington
Enjoying sushi at Tops'l restaurant

2.  Get even more Vitamin D

Speaking of food without guilt: Tuna and salmon have tons of vitamin D. Treat yourself to Sushi and warm Sake at Topsl’s Seafood Bar by the waterfront for dinner. Or, if fish isn’t your thing, have a mushroom burger instead. Did you know mushrooms are the only plant containing vitamin D naturally?

3.  Act as if you’d chosen it

We live in a region with seasons. Our beautiful Washington State is so lush and evergreen because of all the rain. Act as if you had chosen this gray, drizzly day. Embrace it, be joyful, think about the bright sunshine above the clouds. Love, that you have a warm bed and good food to eat and know, that Spring is just around the corner.

4.  Laugh out loud

Humor is the best medicine and can get you through even the roughest of times. Distract yourself for a few hours and laugh out loud. Go see a comedy at the historic Palace Theater, just a block from the Earthbox Inn & Spa. See a play at the San Juan Community Theatre

5.  Learn something new

Learning something new keeps your brain young and fit. Visit the Island Museum of Arts to get inspired or the San Juan Historical Museum to learn about the island’s rich history. Here’s the time to admire the folks that lived here before us, and they didn’t even have an indoor pool, sauna and hot tub!

6.  Pay it forward

Support the Friday Harbor Whale Museum and our Orca whales, threatened by extinction. Get involved with the San Juan County Land Bank to secure more wild spaces on the island. Help with the annual bird count or just buy a cup of coffee for the person behind you in line. Helping others is always the right thing to do and feels so good.

7.  Pamper yourself

Don’t forget about your body under all those layers of clothes. Enjoy a leisurely swim at our pool, take a sauna and a hot tub. Treat yourself to a visit to our day spa. Relax, let the tension melt away and the toxins leave your body before getting your beauty sleep.

Deer Hazel Boutique, San Juan Island, Washington
Brighten up your day with sparkly, super soft velvet clothing from Deer Hazel Boutique

8.  Add some color

Do a bit of shopping therapy in one of Friday Harbor’s cute boutiques and brighten up your wardrobe with a colorful scarf, a bright red rain coat or some sparkly, super soft velvet socks. Because, black isn’t even a color, you know.

9.  Grow something

Get yourself a sprouting kit at the San Juan Food Coop and grow healthy, tasty sprouts for sandwiches and salads when the produce in the stores comes from far away. Or get some herb plants at the Winter’s Farmer’s Market for your windowsill. Add a tiny bench and miniature house and chuckle at your little fairy garden every morning.

10.   Plan a Summer vacation

If most of the blues is just in your head, change your head. Plan a Summer vacation, complete with whale watch trip, zip line tour and Shakespeare under the Stars. Give yourself something to look forward to, imagine yourself there during times you struggle and even save some money when you book your trip early.