Who couldn’t use a little extra pep in their step right now?

Jaime Milan
January 21, 2021
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Getty / Cavan Images
| Credit: Getty / Cavan Images

I am not a winter person. Like, at all. I grew up in South Florida, where 75-degree temps were the norm in January. But after moving to Birmingham, Alabama (where I live now), I've slowly acclimated to 30-degree days and darkness by 5 p.m. Though I realize it's just part of the seasons changing, winter's short days still make me feel sad and tired.

This year has been particularly rough because we're all spending way more time at home and not socializing nearly as much. This lack of time with other humans, paired with dreary winter weather, makes for a pretty depressing combo. While I like to think of myself as a generally happy, glass-half-full type of person, even I've started to feel lonely and lethargic. So I decided to try some things to make myself a little happier and more energetic this winter.

Things That Help My Winter Blues

Practicing Healthy Habits

I've gained weight during the pandemic, and it's bumming me out. I don't feel great about myself, so I've started trying to get a little healthier this year by focusing on small changes. I'm also trying to eat plenty of healthy foods that help with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

I've noticed that when I eat more nutritious meals, work out and drink lots of water, I have way more energy. (To help with hydration, I love this Hidrate Spark water bottle.) I've also tried to make it a point to take my dog for a walk outside every day. Even though it's cold, going outside for even just 20 minutes (and seeing my dog's happy little face) always boosts my mood. 

Prioritizing Self-Care 

Truth time: I've waxed poetic about the importance of self-care, but I haven't always practiced what I preached. This year, I'm making it a priority to do at least five minutes of self-care every day. Sometimes that means walking the dog or listening to an audiobook and other days that means ordering takeout with my husband, soaking in a bubble bath (I love Dr. Teal's Epsom Salt Bath) or doing an at-home facial. (This serum from Osmosis Beauty is pricey, it's my holy grail product for rough or dry winter skin). 

Making time for self-care is so important, and I've noticed a total mental shift on the days when I invest in a little "me" time. It's so easy to feel tired or burnt out these days, and self-care is the perfect way to recharge your batteries. It doesn't have to take lots of time or cost any money, and there are even some self-care apps to help you get started.  

Making My Home Cozier

Since we're all spending more time at home, we may as well enjoy where we live, right? When I'm bored, I love to move my furniture or decorations around. Sometimes just switching up your living room layout, cleaning everything from top to bottom, lighting a yummy scented candle or buying a new piece of art can brighten and re-energize your space. Try it out for yourself—I bet you'll feel a little happier!