I Hate Winter! How Can I Stay Bright and Cheery When It’s Dark and Cold?

 In Focusing on the positive, Negative emotions

I have to be honest. This time of year can be difficult for me. And I’ve been hearing from a number of other people that the same is true for them. There are long stretches of darkness as the days keep getting shorter that leave me tired and unmotivated. Many days here in Wisconsin are cloudy and gray in November, making it even harder to feel upbeat. The weather turns cold. I need a coat and long underwear to venture outside. My hands hurt from the cold as I drive my car, waiting for the heater to warm it up – and that is while wearing winter gloves. My muscles get tight from hunching my shoulders to keep the coldness away from my neck. I could go on complaining. 

If you love this time of year, I’m very jealous! But if you’re like me and could use some extra tips for keeping a positive attitude despite the cold, gray, and dark, keep reading. Here are some of my favorites that really help. The key is that we have to be very intentional about using them and not just let ourselves enter a downward spiral focusing on the things we don’t like about winter.

  • Use strings of LED lights around your home to add a warm glow.
  • Listen to music; maybe its holiday music, oldies from long ago, or the most recent ones that energize you.
  • Make plans for fun outings with friends, a vacation, doing something different like taking a class or attending a new type of event.
  • Refresh your hobbies. Dig out those crafting items, woodworking tools, recipes, or head to an indoor gym for some hoops or squash.
  • Get outside. Bundle up with whatever it takes to stay warm and go for a walk and get some fresh air.
  • Tackle a project. Dig into an indoor project you’ve been putting off because you were too busy with outside stuff.
  • Remind yourself to be happy that you’re not itching from mosquito bites.
  • Realize you have extra time now that you’re not mowing your lawn or doing yard work.
  • Cuddle up in some fleece; maybe it’s fleece sheets, a jacket or a blanket that feels soft and warm.
  • Get a new book that is fun and entertaining to read. Maybe it even takes place somewhere warm.

My 13-year-old daughter suggested these ideas:

  • Buy fresh flowers for your home.
  • Put screensavers of warm, sunny places on your devices.
  • Listen to summer birds and water sounds on YouTube.
  • Eat lots of chocolate.

What other ideas do you have that make these days a little brighter? Make a list and purposely add these things to your day. 

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