8 Secrets to a Happy Winter

These tips are sure to boost your mood during the winter months.

By: Helen Jane Hearn

The short days and cold weather accompanying the winter months can be a serious cheer and energy drainer. Thankfully, you can beat the long winter glum by shaking up your routine. Check out these eight secrets to making winter happier for the whole household.

1. Supper Show
Keep your family entertained in the winter — or any season — by hosting a nightly pre-dinner performance. Assign each family member a night to perform before dinner. Kids can memorize short poems, nursery rhymes and songs to entertain the family. Adults can memorize classic poems or act out their own version of their favourite movie scenes.

2. Dance Break
When you start to feel grumpy and the kids are restless, the fastest way to break the tension is with an impromptu dance break. A warning to all easily embarrassed readers: This feels ridiculous at first. Power through the awkward feeling and put on your dancing shoes! Create a special playlist to get everyone in a good mood.

3. Screen-free Tuesdays
Pick a night when your family goes screen free. This means no television, video games, computers, tablets or phones. Playing board games, listening to calm music, and breaking out the art supplies to create a family masterpiece can go a long way in boosting minds and spirits.

4. Movie Club
Winters are the perfect time for tucking in with a good movie. Choose a historical theme, a specific director or a filmmaking style on which to focus. Watch classic black and white films, get into documentaries or try anime cartoons with the kids.

5. Hit the Library
Getting out of the house during the winter is key to boosting mental health (and the grocery store doesn’t count). A nice place to sneak off to is the library. The kids will be happy to check out a big stack of books while you browse audiobooks, movies and check out that novel you’ve always wanted to read.

6. Recipe Mastery
If you’re stuck in the house for weeks at a time, cooking is a great way to have your family experience exotic places. Each winter presents a new opportunity to master a new cuisine or dish. Whether it’s Thai, Italian or Jamaican, long winter months are ideal for learning new recipes.

7. Reflexology
With just a little bit of scented lotion, you can become your own stress relief master. Invest in some aromatic oils or lotion and read up on reflexology. Learning how to rub your own feet, hands and ears can be a long-term method of stress relief.

8. Indoor Plants
A little green in every room helps you to banish the winter blues. Caring for houseplants can give you joy during long winter months. Hostas, calla lilies and succulents can all bring life into your space and cheer to your day no matter how many inches of snow are on the ground.

These ideas can be a big help when it comes to a cheerful winter — I hope yours is the cosiest! Do you have any secrets to staying happy during the winter months? Let us know in the comments below!

Helen has written about Internet culture and home entertaining at her eponymous site Helen Jane since 1998. Napa Valley-based, she is a certified specialist of wine and founder of Cheesewhizzes, a nationwide cheese-tasting club. She also captains her bocce team, Joanie Loves Bocce.


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