Midwest winters are not for the faint of heart. Shorter daylight periods can make you feel tired and unmotivated, especially if you are working all day and finally get home only for it to be dark out already. Our cold weather can keep you inside and feeling isolated, bored, and uninspired. Sleep can also be affected during this time which in turn will affect your mood. It seems like in the winter all we can think about is a tropical getaway! However, for many it may not be financially possible. So, we put together a few ways to combat these negative feelings in the comfort of the frozen tundra.
Set aside “me time”
This could be a number of things. Facemasks are a great way to relax! Not to mention the weather can leave you feeling extra dry. This could be a chance to get into DIY face masks or splurge on a really nice one. I use this IS Clinical warming honey cleanser as a facemask and it makes my skin feel so soft! Other ideas are investing in a facial steamer to help open pores, tweeze your eyebrows, or try out body masks for your back or chest!
Baths are a great way to relax if you’re lucky enough to have it as an option. They are the perfect opportunity to do a face or hair mask, light some candles, and listen to relaxing music. A way to make them something to look forward to even more is to invest in new bubble baths or bath salts. Morgan and I have been loving this bubble bath from Walmart. Finish it off by doing a full body moisturizing routine to really relax and refresh!
This is something that keeps your mind positive and grateful. There are many different options available but if you don’t feel like investing in one, just google mindfulness journal prompts and use a notebook that you already have on hand!
Winter reading list
There is something about setting goals for yourself and crossing things off of a list. Reading can be a great way to escape into another reality or expand your knowledge. Whether you lean towards self help books, fiction, or a combination of genres there is something that can interest everyone. Start by setting a goal and making a list of how many books you want to conquer and what those books are!
This doesn’t have to be an hour of cardio everyday. It can be a way to take time to work on yourself. Yoga is a great way to get your body moving without feeling like you’re dying (maybe I'm the only dramatic one that feels like that??). There are endless workout videos online so you can switch it up easily. Going for a walk is also a great way to get moving- weather permitting of course. Sometimes it’s nice to get bundled up and get some fresh air even when it’s chilly out.
Make a new playlist
This could be a playlist of throwbacks to put on when you’re cleaning, one with relaxing music for those baths or going to sleep at night, or a playlist of songs that put you in a good mood to listen to while you get ready in the morning. Switching up your music to change your mood is a great way to bring something new to each day. If you don’t know where to start, you can check out our shop playlist on Spotify and maybe find a few new songs to throw into your mix!
- Try new snacks (My friend Bailee brought puffcorn coated in almond bark to girls night earlier this week and it was so good!)
- Have a glass of hot cocoa, tea, or wine after work
- Get a few seasonal candles
- Change into a cozy outfit after work! I love wearing slippers or fuzzy socks when I get home!
- Decorate your house for Christmas, make it feel cheery! Even just a string of lights can make such a relaxing ambiance at nighttime.
- Try to make a fancy coffee drink before work in the morning
- Try a new beer/wine/mixed drink
Of course there's always the obvious get a massage or get your nails done but it can be as simple as just making a nice dinner for yourself!
Create a routine
Having a routine can help you feel productive and is a good way to prevent going home from work and laying down right away (although somedays that's just what we need so there's nothing wrong with that!)
For me personally, I don't love being home alone all the time. When my husband was gone during the week for work last winter, it seemed like all I did was sit home every night and wait for Thursdays to come so he would be home to hangout with me. It felt like the week would drag while I was by myself until I started an after work routine. On Monday nights I would hangout with my friends and watch the Bachelor, on Tuesdays Morgan and I would usually do something for the store or I would have a self care night, and Wednesdays I would clean so that when Andy got home on Thursday we could just relax and hangout together! I found that once I started this routine the week went by way faster and I was able to go to bed easier every night because I was tired from being up and doing things all day!
Plan Time With Others
It can be nice to get out of the house every once in a while for some friend time. My friends and I try to get together once a week for some girl time and we take turns hosting. We try to mix it up by doing activities like a diy paint & sip, make a charcuterie board with seasonal items, earlier this month we all brought something for a friendsgiving meal together, and we have even played a dice game before. It keeps each week different and is something we all look forward to. Here are some other activities to do with friends:
Try new recipes
Some things Morgan and I have made together is white chicken chili, tortellini soup, and chicken caprese! It's always exciting to try new things and is fun to spend time making it together. We have also done a girls night where everyone brings a new mixed drink to share which is also fun!
Look into community events
This could be Christmas lighting festivals, small business shopping events, community plays, or trivia nights. A good way to find these events is on the Facebook events page. A lot of businesses will promote them on social media so following businesses around your community is a great way to find things to do!
This can be an at home thing that you invite friends over to and have everyone bring a snack to share or it could be going to a nearby movie theater. Our theater in Alexandria does $5 movie Tuesdays so it is a great night to go and enjoy the popcorn!
This can be things as simple as driving around to look at Christmas lights, going ice skating, decorating Christmas cookies together, or even attempting to make spruce pots or dried orange slice garlands! It is a good way to get into the holiday spirit.
Plan a getaway
A getaway is a bit more expensive than the previous ideas but can be a fun way to break up your day to day routine! If you are able to split an Airbnb between a few friends it will help lower the costs a bit. You can also save by bringing your own food and taking advantage of the kitchen in a rental and bringing things like board games or puzzles to keep you occupied! Even if it's only an hour away, it will be something fun to do together.
Morgan stayed here last year with some friends and it looked so dreamy! She is also staying at this sweet little house in January and I'm sure she will share all the details here once she gets back! Here is another cute cabin on Lake Superior that would be great for a group!
The main thing all of these ideas do is to give you something to look forward to- even if it just means throwing on a pair of fuzzy socks after work and having a glass of wine. Don’t over complicate it! Find friends that you can lean on and help to cheer each other up because we really are all in this together. Hopefully some of these tips give you ways to help cure those winter blues!