How To Stay Upbeat When The Cold Weather Is Getting You Down

How To Stay Upbeat When The Cold Weather Is Getting You Down ©iStock/Mixmike

Winter is great because it means Christmas and snow, but otherwise, it’s not particularly the best time of year. We like when things first start cooling down, but then it just goes downhill from there. Eveything freezes, the trees go bare, the days are shorter and the nights colder. It’s pretty miserable, but it doesn’t have to be. If you find yourself looking for a way to make life suck a bit less this winter, why not try the following?

  1. Make the most out of the fewer hours of sunlight. If you’re like most millennials, you probably use the weekends to sleep in. That means getting up at noon or later, when you only have a few more hours of sunlight before it gets dark at 4 p.m., which gets depressing. If you want to have more sun and experience as long a “day” as possible, see if you can switch around your schedule and wake up earlier. For most of us, it may not sound like it’s worth it, but you’d be surprised.
  2. Get some colorful winter accessories. Bright colors tend to lighten our moods, and you know how excited you get to wear new stuff. Why not treat yourself to a new scarf, hat, gloves, or some cool winter boots in some crazy colors? In the winter, it seems like everyone is either wearing black, white, or gray, so to stand out, try introducing something different into your wardrobe.
  3. Take a trip to a warmer climate. This doesn’t mean you have to throw hundreds of dollars into a flight and island vacation. A cheaper alternative can be just a road trip with some friends. In a matter of hours and with a few bucks for gas, you could be somewhere 30 degrees warmer. Just make sure you don’t get stranded in a blizzard somewhere on your way back.
  4. Set a personal goal to accomplish by the time spring arrives. Instead of treating winter like something that should be over and done with as soon as possible, why not turn it into a challenge? Try setting a goal for yourself to accomplish by the time the weather starts getting nicer, and work towards meeting that goal every day. If you think of it that way, winter will be less likely to drag, and instead of counting the days till it’s over, you’ll be counting the days you have left to accomplish your goal.
  5. Use the extra time indoors to work on a hobby or passion. When the weather gets colder, we spend less time outside and less time socializing. That means you’ll have more time to work on your favorite hobbies or even pick up a new skill, so maybe you can consider the winter to be more a blessing than a curse, especially if it helps you get creative and stop procrastinating about that book you’ve been meaning to write.
  6. Read books or watch movies that also take place in the winter. There’s probably no point in watching summery movies or reading tropical romance when you’re in the dead of winter. All that’s going to do is make you hate your life and wish you were somewhere else. So instead, why not watch wintery things that’ll show you another side of the story? Just don’t try using The Shining to lighten the mood – it’ll probably just remind you of that time you got locked out of your car in a snowstorm.
  7. Stock up on your favorite hot drinks that you can make at home. Hot chocolate and winter just go together. We all love coming home to a warm cup of our favorite beverage after a day in subzero temperatures. To make your days just a little bit brighter, make sure you have all the ingredients you need handy to make the drinks that comfort you. This may be part of the reason why people flip when everyone starts rolling out their pumpkin-flavored coffees – maybe it’s not so much the flavor, but the comfort?
  8. Be prepared for anything weather-related that can happen. There’s nothing worse than looking out your window in the morning before leaving for work, seeing half a foot of snow on the ground, and realizing you don’t have snow boots. Or not having a shovel and ice chipper in your car. Or putting off getting the heating in your apartment fixed. These things have the potential to ruin our day and make your life hell for the next few months, but they can all be fixed pretty easily just by taking the time to prepare. And no, this isn’t like all those people who rush out and buy 10 gallons of water from the supermarket the second the news forecasts a potential storm. That’s just stupid.
Chelsey is a freelance writer in NYC. She's pretty normal by today's standards, or at least that's what her mother tells her.