Well, it’s that time of year again. All the major winter holidays have passed. Presents have been given, resolutions have been made, and gone are all the twinkly lights and jazzy love songs that have been distracting you from the fact that unless you live in Southern California or Florida, you’re basically stuck in Winterfell until mid-March. With spring still several months out of our reach and no prominent festivities to speak of marking our calendars until February 14th, (which can be more of a pain than a celebration depending on the year) it can be tempting to give in to the dreaded post-holiday blues. Having said that, what if this year instead of making ourselves miserable until the blessed days of sundress weather return, we committed to making the most out of what’s left of our winter?
Lamenting the days of cold and darkness ahead of us will only make them seem longer, and there are so many ways to make them not only bearable — but genuinely fun — that there’s no reason why we shouldn’t try to enjoy them.
As someone who struggles not to give in to the post-holiday blues on an annual basis, I know there will be days where no amount of effort will undo the fact that sometimes winter just sucks. But hopefully, these six ways to beat the post-holiday blues will make it suck a little less.
1. Dress for the Cold
This may just seem like common sense, but even if you think you’re dressing warm, you could probably be dressing a lot warmer. Coats are obviously a given, but gloves, scarves, ear muffs, and knee socks should be as well. I know ear muffs can mess up your hair, but my advice is: pick a messy style or go natural, and wear the damn ear muffs. Your hair will look fine and you won’t have ear aches to deal with.
Tights are another essential key to both winter warmth and fashion. If you love wearing skirts and dresses even when it feels like we’re living in the arctic, then wear tights underneath them. I’ll even wear tights under my looser fitting jeans if I know I’ll be out in the elements for an extended period of time. It sounds bulky, but it really isn’t, and you’ll be so much warmer. Also, I’m not saying you should ban heels from your winter wardrobe completely, but boots and booties are so much warmer and safer in icy conditions.
2. Candles, Candles, Candles!
Usually, the part of winter that gets me down even worse than the cold is the gloom. Fortunately, where I currently live in southern Missouri, it’s not uncommon for some winter days to be sunny like mid-May (even if it’s 13 degrees outside). However, an unfortunate certainty of winter is lots and lots of gloomy, sunless days. I’ve found one of the best ways to combat this is with lots and lots of cozy, scented candles. You can get them almost anywhere, and they don’t have to be expensive to be good.
3. Enjoy Your Favorite Seasonal Foods and Beverages While You Can
Are you crazy about hot cocoa? Or hot soup with fresh French bread? Or the wide array of winter ales available right now? Stock up, simmer up, sip up, and enjoy. Come St. Patrick’s Day, it’ll all be summer brews and BBQ’s. As temperatures begin to rise, all your beloved hot foods and beverages will probably sound disgusting to you, so enjoy them while you can. Plus, all those seasonal soups and stews will make your home smell crazy delicious, and it’s harder to be totally miserable when your senses are saturated with tasty goodness.
4. Play in the Snow
It’s always hard to pry myself away from the mountain of blankets I tend to burrow under on winter evenings, but I never regret pausing whichever episode of New Girl I’m re-watching to bundle up for a lovely winter stroll. Bring your phone for safety — and, of course, for fun — then set your Spotify app to play Frank Sinatra or Billie Holiday, pop in those headphones, and soak up all the glorious winter beauty. The glow from the street lamps mixed with the sparkling snow and the dreamy tunes will undoubtedly lift your spirits, and taking the time to make a snow angel will make you feel like a care-free kid again.
5. Catch Up on Your Reading and/or TV
There’s really no better time than winter to catch up on all the books you want to read and shows you want to watch. When the weather gets warmer and the days get longer you’re probably going to be hitting the beach/river/lake as much as possible, and even if you’re not an outdoorsy person, you’re probably going to have tons of BBQ’s and pool parties to attend. The bottom line is you’re going to be sick of being cooped up, and this will likely translate into less time for reading and watching your favorite shows. So, take advantage of the cold and the gloom and get caught up now. You've earned it!
6. Pamper Yourself
I know it’s tempting to chuck exfoliation and exercise out the window when you have to dress like a lumberjack for over three months just to maintain warmth, but taking good care of yourself will make you feel so much better than staying glued to your futon for the entirety of winter will. Obviously, I’m not saying you shouldn’t spend quite a lot of time enjoying said futon (see #5) but taking care of yourself just makes sense, and you can do it from the comfort of your cozy abode — while simultaneously enjoying your favorite scented candle and watching Mindy Lahiri be fabulous. Douse your strands with your favorite deep conditioner, (I like all natural virgin coconut oil) do some restorative yoga while your conditioner works its magic, then do a quick exfoliation in the shower with your loofa or a nice sugar scrub, and voila! You’ll be back on that futon, groomed as hell, and buried under blankets in no time.