The holidays are past, it’s a lonnnnng time until Spring, and more than likely, you’re faced with week after week of grey, chilly, depressing weather. While it’s great to make the most of the occasional sunny day (even if it’s cold!), you need a strategy for handling the winter blahs that will keep you going strong until the weather finally warms up.
Stumped for ideas? We’ve got five to get you started!
1. Pick a project, any project
If you find yourself with time on your hands during long winter nights, don’t fall into the easy habit of binge-watching TV shows or streaming endless media. Instead, choose a project you’ve always wanted to try, and dedicate time to it every night. Whether it’s knitting your first scarf, dabbling in a craft, scrapbooking, or building something, start small and spend just a few minutes a day on it. If you discover a project you truly enjoy, time will shoot by in a flash.
2. Do something different
Stepping out of your comfort zone is a sure antidote to the winter blues. Consider trying a climbing gym, going on bundled-up walks in different parts of the city, or joining a book club at your local library. Alternatively, you could volunteer at a local animal shelter or nursing home, take up a new fitness regimen, or sign up for a class. The key is to do something new and different, to shake up your routine. Let this be the winter you become what you’ve always wanted to be!
3. Connect with friends
Easier said than done if you’re in a new city, but one of the best ways to create long-term positive change is to find or build a community. You could try the local library, gym, or rec center—or check out churches or community centers in your area—to find your new tribe, or use online apps like MeetUp.com. Your people are out there! You just need to find them.
Whether indoor, outdoor, at your apartment or at a local gym, exercise is one of the fastest methods to improve your mood and change your state. You don’t even need to exercise for the purpose of losing weight. Just go at it with the idea that you’re getting your heart pumping and body moving, and you’ll be amazed at how much better you’ll feel (as long as you don’t overdo it). Shoot for 30 minutes a day for optimal benefit, but everything counts!
5. Lighten up!
It’s difficult to stay positive when it’s dark outside, so you’ll need to work doubly hard to make sure you have enough light in your life. Getting outside even on cloudy days will help more than you think, but another option to consider is investing in a happy light or energy lamp. These lamps emit light that mimics the natural effect of sunlight, and can be incredibly useful to help you fight fatigue, regain focus, reduce eyestrain and improve your mood. If you are stuck inside for long periods during the winter or if you live in a particularly grey and gloomy part of the country, happy lights may be the perfect solution for you!
Winter may seem like it’ll last forever, but little by little, the days will get longer and the sun will shine more brightly. Until then, show the season who’s boss with these fun tips!