Let Happiness Shine — Despite the Darker Winter Months

As the holiday season approaches us, good cheer tends to spread around the country. With sparkly decorations, time with family, and delicious food, smiles abound this time of year.

However, for many, the transition to winter can be challenging. With daylight savings time in November came darker days along with the typically colder temperatures. With the sun setting much earlier these days (it seems to start mid-afternoon!), it can be easy to get a bit down. On top of this, colder temperatures mean more time indoors and less time in the fresh air.

We’re all about taking matters into our own hands, though, and making the indoors just as cheerful as the summer outdoors can be. There are a few easy techniques you can use to impart your home with a little more cheer and happiness this time of year. Despite the darkness, bring light into your life with a few smile-inducing products and décor.

  1. Light candles. Does the smell of the beach make you swoon? Does adding fir or evergreen scents to your home remind you why the holiday season is so special? Head to a local shop that sells a wide array of candle scents, and choose the one that brings back the best memories. Light it in your home throughout the winter to embark on an instant path to joy. Burning infused oils can also do the trick.
  2. Soak in a long bath. Nothing says relaxation like a hot, bubbly bath to make your negative feelings go away. Grab your favorite calming bath salts – lavender is a great choice – and take one night a week to relax in your tub (maybe surrounded by those candles you chose earlier!). Creating relaxing spaces for yourself in your home can beat away the winter blues.
  3. Find quotes that resonate. Look online for framed quotes designed onto canvas that you relate to and that make you remember the good in life. Hang these throughout your home as a constant reminder of what inspires you.
  4. Stay away from screens. Being cooped up in the house during the winter is the worst, but that doesn’t mean that distracting yourself with television or online shopping is the way to happiness. Studies show that the blue light from screens can also keep you up at night, disrupting your sleep patterns and enhancing your holiday blues. Give yourself breaks from the screens while you’re indoors by making a list of books to read or having meals or coffee with your family.
  5. Break out your inner child. Board games are a great way to pass the time indoors and have a ton of fun doing it! Get your family or friends together for board game nights regularly. Not only will you laugh away any negativity, you’ll get to spend screen-free time bonding with those you love.
  6. Spread holiday cheer. Take the time to decorate your home with cheerful holiday décor. Getting in the holiday spirit can take your mind off of any sadness, keeps you busy, and keeps you in tune with the best, most cheerful parts of the winter season! Better yet, take the time to get out of the house and volunteer for those in need; studies show that helping others can have an incredibly positive effect on your mood and overall life satisfaction.

It’s easy to beat the winter blues when you have a few easy tricks up your sleeve. How do you stay happy throughout the darker, colder months?

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