How To Stay Cheery in The Winter Months

Photo by Tony Ross on Unsplash

According to science, the best strategies for beating the winter blues are thinking positively, getting social, eating right, getting sun, having sex, and exercising regularly.

Surely all of these things aren’t only doable — they’re enjoyable!

While seasonal mood slumps are no joke, there are special activities that can only be experienced during wintertime. Focusing more on what we CAN do instead of what we CAN’T is the key here.

In a season filled with freezing temps, unflattering marshmallow coats and a shortage of fresh produce, how can we turn our winter frowns upside down?

Here Are 11 Fool-Proof Tips for Falling in Love with Winter

Tip #1: Dedicate one night a week to family

Not what you were expecting for tip #1?

Having something to look forward to every week is a good kickoff point when all we want to do after work is pile heating blankets on our bodies and turn on the boob tube.

Pick a Saturday or Sunday each week to bond with your husband and kids (or whomever your family is). Check out a holiday festival in your area, get tickets to a basketball or hockey game, go to a broadway show, and turn your living room into an in-home theatre and have a Christmas movie marathon.

Tip #2: Get together with friends OFTEN

Good friends are the core to our happiness.

It may be somewhat acceptable to isolate yourself from civilization when it’s 4 degrees outside, but it is not acceptable to shield yourself from your friends just because it’s cold.

Take turns hosting weekly game nights at each other’s places. Invite your besties over for an evening of wine tasting or cocktail-making, cozy up in an Irish pub for a few hours and reminisce over old times, and pick a weekend to rent a cabin in the woods.

Have something to look forward to — often — with the people you adore to keep your spirits up.

Tip #3: Plan a vacation.

Let’s be real. Winter can be a drag.

Plan a getaway with your partner, family or group of friends to someplace warm and happy. The warm weather and change of scenery will be all you’ll need to come back to real life refreshed and reenergized.

Photo by Benjamin Escher on Unsplash

Tip #4: Wear bright colors

Grey skies and all black outfits do have their moments in winter, but they’ll bring your vibe down if you don’t switch it up.

Buy a hot pink puffer to weather the season instead of a black jacket. Swipe on bright purple lipstick for your Tuesday morning meeting. Sport neon green sneakers for errand-running.

Colors largely influence our moods, so put some sunshine in your style when dreary days piss you off.

Tip #5: Reinvent yourself in some way

There is no better time to adorn a new look, get a new hobby, or start a passion project than winter.

Take on a new persona by dying your hair red. Enroll in adult tap classes. Take piano or guitar lessons. Hire a local stylist and have him/her up your style game so fiercely that you don’t know how you lived pre-self-transformation.

Tip #6: Set an exciting goal

They say hibernation season is the best time to start that novel you’ve been wanting to write for the past 3 years. Or turn that business idea into a real, live business already.

Start a funny or inspiring podcast. Work on your marriage by nixing routine Friday night dinners and head to a cooking class or reserve private dance lessons. Set a new wellness or personal transformation goal with a health or life coach, and hit it before Spring.

Tip #7: Cherish the holidays

I am someone who kind of hates the Holidays.

The travel, the unrealistic expectation of time spent with family, the inevitable 3 lbs I’m going to gain from the delicious soul food and sweet treats, and the seemingly never-ending sluggish feeling I’m going to feel after eating, drinking and sitting around gives me a bad attitude.

If you’re a Grinch like me, take a different approach to the holidays this year. Focus on all of the good things in your life and be thankful that you have a loving family, a supportive group of friends and a cool community.

Photo by Mehrdad Haghighi on Unsplash

Tip #8: Read — A lot!

There’s a reason “Cozy up with a good book” is a popular saying, and it’s especially fitting for the snowy season.

I can’t say enough good things about reading. Reading brings you into other worlds when your life feels boring. It makes you a more intelligent, positive human, and gives you new perspectives on life as well as endless ideas to build your dream future.

Reading doesn’t have to be a solo venture if you’re craving more face-time with people. Start a self-improvement or fantasy fiction book club and get together with your fellow bookies once a month to discuss the book at hand over wine and cheese.

Tip #9: Take brisk walks (or runs) outside

If it isn’t dangerously cold out, you have to get out of the house and office for fresh air. Your mental health depends on it.

Bundle up and take your dog for a long walk. Pick an accountability friend or neighbor or colleague and vow to a good long walk or jog whenever you can.

Tip #10: Take mental health days

Speaking of mental health…we are most susceptible to depression, anxiety and mood swings in the winter.

People don’t realize how essential it is to keep your mind right until they snap at their spouse or are hospitalized from severe stress. It is so stupid not to take care of yourself.

Request off work to have a day to yourself. Go to a spa, take your toddler to a kids museum or shop at local boutiques. Take as many mental health days as you can. Work can always wait when it comes to brain health.

Tip #11: Find a way to make a difference in your community

You feel good when you make other people feel good.

Volunteer. Start a millennial moms club. Reach out to people in your church and invite them to coffee. Get to know people outside of your scircle. Life is way more exciting when it’s unpredictable, and it’s way more enjoyable when it’s spent doing good in the world with other like-minded humans.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Takeaways

Spend more time interacting with people, and less time alone.

Work on projects that bring you complete happiness and bliss.

Do not slack on taking care of your mind and body.

Thanks for reading!

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Ashley Alt

Ashley Alt

Life is better when we laugh. I write about the importance of mental health & believe our weirdness is what makes us great. https://ashleyalt.substack.com/