I don’t love winter. Give me December any day — the twinkly lights, the holiday atmosphere, and the promise of snow all get me excited. But once January 2nd rolls around, I start resenting the snow and aching for spring. It’s almost as though, once the holidays have passed, we all decide that it’s back to the “real world,” and that the joy and magic of winter are for yesterday. I don’t think that’s true, so I’ve been finding new ways to enjoy winter this year. If you have a hard time savoring the winter season, here are a few ways to enjoy winter that have worked for me. Have a suggestion I should add to the list? Comment below and let me know!
Keep it cozy
Just because the holiday season is over, doesn’t mean that you can’t still enjoy cozy decor and activities. In college, I kept white twinkle lights on all year long — they’re a great way to add some sparkle and joy to an otherwise bleary season. You can also keep your fuzzy socks, warm blankets, and favorite cozy pajamas throughout the winter season. Nights reading by the fire can happen all winter long; there’s no reason to shut off the cozy holiday atmosphere just because it’s February.
Keep up the winter activities
You can also keep ice skating, sledding, and other traditional winter activities all winter long. Though these are usually activities we make time for when we’re visiting family for the holidays, there’s nothing stopping you from a Saturday afternoon trip to the ice skating rink with friends. Winter has its own things to enjoy and savor, and just because you’re back to “real life” after the holidays, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy them.
Celebrate special days
There are plenty of special days in winter that you can celebrate after New Year’s. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day, are some of the big ones, but there are also some quirky, smaller special days and holidays that you can celebrate, like National Pie Day or Winnie the Pooh Day. For me as a Christian, observing the liturgical seasons of Epiphany and Lent make the new year feel both fun and special, even if the season of winter is not my favorite. Taking a few minutes to celebrate or appreciate the day, whether it’s a major observance or something small, can help make January and February more fun.
Try new things
You’ve heard it before: January is the month of New Year’s Resolutions, and February is the month of abandoning New Year’s Resolutions. However funny (or true) it may be, an attitude like this makes January feel like a month of punishment and February like a month of failure. A happier and healthier approach may be to try more new things in winter and throughout the year, whether that’s meeting with a personal trainer and cooking for yourself, or going to a trampoline gym and a roller skating rink. This keeps the winter months feeling like a time of exploration and not of missed opportunities.
Try a happy light
While the above suggestions are about mindset and activities, there’s no denying that something physical about winter makes it less enjoyable. Not only is it cold (and wet), but it’s also often darker than spring and summer, and because you’re spending less time outside already, you get much less sunlight in general. One way to deal with this is with a happy light, a form of at-home “light therapy” that helps you combat the winter blues by mimicking sunlight. We have a few of these at home because my family is easily affected by the darkness of winter, and they make a big difference in brightening your space, and your day. Though they can be expensive, if you really struggle with the darkness in winter, they’re a great investment.
Though January and February will never feel quite as celebratory as December to me, tricks like these help me make the most of winter even after the holidays are over. I’d love to hear suggestions from you; do you struggle to feel cheerful in winter, or is it just like any other season? How do you take time to enjoy winter? Let me know in the comments below!