Is it just me, or is this winter dragging? I don’t know about you but the fact that we here in the Southeast don’t have much sun and warmth is really getting to me. I wake up with less energy, I slog through the day, and I find myself binging more tv than I’m comfortable with just because it’s the only thing I have energy for.

We can’t speed up the year, and depending on where you live, winter may be around for quite some time yet. So I started thinking about things that I could do to lift my spirits on the dismal days. (Like NOT focusing on the above image of my sad plants who desperately need sunlight and warmth.) Maybe you’ll find something here that strikes your fancy!

  1. Prioritize your skincare. It’s a good way to start feeling better from the inside out. And skincare products don’t have to break the bank. We’ve found products from The Ordinary that we love, and my dermatologist recommended that I skip overspending on face wash and go with brands like Cetaphil or other drugstore finds.
  2. IF your gym has one, a sauna is a great place to simulate the feeling of basking on the beach in the middle of July. You have to close your eyes to pretend that that’s what’s going on, but it’s a step in the right direction for your mind.
  3. Find a yoga class at your gym or at a studio nearby. Sometimes you can check things out for free at least once. If you haven’t been to yoga before I recommend checking out a class for beginners, or one with the word “restorative” in the title.
  4. Don’t underestimate the power of a good laugh! Find something funny, and revel in it. Binge a sitcom (like The Good Place) or hit up some of my favorite instagram comedians: @BennyDrama7 and @TreyKennedy.
  5. Indulge in your favorite comfort foods. Even planning this might lighten your mood, especially if you tend to eat your feelings (like I do.) Some of my favorites: Japanese takeout or the fried popcorn chicken and gouda mac and cheese from the Publix hot bar. fried chicken and gouda Mac and cheese.
  6. Connect to your spirituality. Put your devices on do not disturb for 5 or 10 minutes and do what you need to do to connect to a higher power. Read a Psalm, a chapter from a devotional book, or do a tarot reading to get a little daily uplift or advice. Spend some time in quiet meditation to the sounds of ocean waves crashing. Visualize yourself on that warm beach. Ask “what is in alignment with my highest self.”
  7. Search “summer” in Apple Music or Spotify and check out the playlists that come up. Frequently, when we listen to some of the tunes that were popular during the hot months, it takes our mind to that time and lightens our mood.

This week I woke up to another dreary white winter day, and thought that if I can’t see the Carolina blue skies and feel warm air, at least I can do some of these things. What are your favorite mood boosters during Winter?

Note: I frequently say I have seasonal affective disorder, and maybe I do. I’ve never researched the validity of my symptoms or the condition in general. If you’re experiencing any levels of depression, disorientation, or anxiety, don’t hesitate to make an appointment with a general practitioner or therapist! It may be time to take more steps than "visualize yourself at the beach." You don’t need to live in unhappiness! These suggestions are for mood lifting, not for clinical issues.