Share your tips with other readers.
Here are some spirit-lifting tips that readers have sent in. They were
written to address winter doldrums, but many apply at any time of year.
We keep collecting more, so let us know what works for you.
time EVERY SINGLE DAY to do something that brings you joy.
on music and dance, dance, dance.
been listening to music; CDs and even old records I'd forgotten I have.
What a boost to the soul.
- J. Martin
school we have special lamps to provide extra sunlight. It helps when
the days get really short. People have different needs for daylight,
and if you need more sunlight, this can be a real plus.
pretty uplifting to get a facial. Or I do a home spa with pedicure and
take a walk outside even in the cold since it's invigorating and warming.
Good to be outdoors.
watch old movies. Fun to share some of the classics with our 10 year
a huge pot of beef stew with lots of root vegetables like potatoes turnips,
celery root and onions and carrots. Until modern times these were the
only vegetables available in the winter, and make a stew that is especially
fitting to the season. Such an endeavor can involve the whole family
in peeling and chopping, and can often lead to bread-baking. Our nine
year old has also recently mastered the art of making her own butter
by shaking a small container of heavy cream in a jar-- great on the
an indoor flowering plant. Crocuses are in bloom.
keeping a journal. It can be just a few lines a day if you don't have
time for more.
year at this time I volunteer to do a cooking project at my son's school.
It always lifts my spirits to be around the kids and it's fun getting
to try out different recipes.
"March Madness," the college basketball playoffs that lead
to the Final Four, is a great diversion. You can find a draw sheet in
the newspaper and track the wins as 64 teams compete in a strategically-structured
series of games. It's a great way for kids to learn about geography
and the amount of math involved is staggering. (go to March
Madness and Math to learn more.)
the parent of an infant I've found the winter can be really isolating.
It's important to maintain contact with other people, especially other
new parents via phone or e-mail and to get outside and see friends and
family as much as possible even if it takes ages to get ready and means
traveling with enough gear for a world tour.
thing I love is to go to the museum. At big museums there's such diversity
to the exhibits that there's something for everyone.
the mother of 3 children I have virtually no downtime when I get home
from work, but I've recently turned my bus commute into what feels like
a mini-vacation by reading novels-- in commuting-length installments!
found the library an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon with
my children, ages 3 and 5. They look at the picture books, I read to them
and sometimes there's a storyhour. It's a good indoor activity for winter.
do more aerobic exercise so I don't get lethargic.
wear red. On really dreary days I wear bright yellow.
of us spend way too much time indoors at this time of year. I try to
get my kids and myself out into the fresh air to get a little exercise
and whatever sunlight we can catch.
in contact with someone you haven't spoken to in a long time.It's easy
to lose contact with old friends, but chances are they will be delighted
to hear from you -- so you'll lift their spirits as well as your own.
used to read aloud to one another. We often think of reading aloud as
just bedtime stories for little kids -- but it's a wonderful activity
for a winter's evening -- short stories or chapters from an on-going
book. Older kids and adults love to read and be read to.
Stretching is always good and necessary, but especially during the winter.
Teach your children simple stretches. If you don't know any, there are
books on stretching and basic yoga.
winter is a time of renewal. Honor the process and take more time for
extra rest. Animals hibernate and we need to respond to the need to
slow down during the cold months.
see the winter as a time for introspection, a time to turn more inward
and slow down. We're part of the animal kingdom and we need to remember
that animals hibernate and seeds lie dormant during this time of year.
We need to honor that rather than fight it.
a college student and my roommates and I had an indoor beach party.
We decorated with beach balls and beach paraphernalia and a large, inflatable
shark. We played surfer music on the CD.
about museums. They're great for kids in the winter. You lose track
of time and place. You can totally forget about what season it is when
you're involved in an exhibit.
time of year there are terrific sales in the stores. We've gotten some
wonderful bargains by buying winter clothing for next year -- getting
things big in anticipation of our son's size 6 months from now.
is a time to organize those photos and recipes you don't want to bother
with on a beautiful day. And remember, Spring is just around the corner.
someone (or more) over for dinner; dress-up your home with candelight
and flowers -- and whatever you cook smells delicious and is appreciated
by your guest(s,) You transcend the bleak outdoors by creating a warm
is the season to read some of those books about winter such as Katy
and the Big Snow and A Snowy Day. Even if we adults find
winter dreary, for kids winter and snow are a big adventure.
sound like a cliche, but doing something kind for someone else lifts
the spirits amazingly well. The winter's a hard time for a lot of folks,
including the elderly, the ill, and of course the homeless. Valentine's
Day can be a reminder to think of others -- and do something helpful.
want to remind everyone how important it is to drink plenty of water.
During the winter we tend to forget - but those 8 glasses a day are
as essential as ever.
someone who lives in Minnesota I've learned that you can't ignore or
fight the winter. When it's not absolutely freezing we enjoy outdoor
winter sports like ice skating and cross-country skiing and the kids
a board game together - Monopoly, Scrabble or cards. Do something as
a family that you haven't done before, such as visit a museum, or art
gallery -- or go have tea somewhere.
Rent a video that takes me someplace
far away, warm and tropical.
way to combat the winter doldrums is to commit acts of love and kindness
as part of an extended Valentine's celebration. At PT&Co., we close
our office in observance of Valentine's Day to give our employees the
day off to do volunteer work as a way to spread love and kindness in
our community. We've chosen to interpret Valentine's Day beyond the
idea of romantic love to a more expansive love for all mankind. We've
found that these simple acts of love and kindness are a great way to
warm and gladden the heart even during the most dreary days of winter.
can be a wonderful time to start planning a summer vacation. Visualize
green trees, lakes,or the beach --where ever your imagination takes
With the famous snows of Kilimanjaro
melting away, let's appreciate winter while it still exists.
the winter I drink a lot of tea and make soups.
you suspect you're feeling more than "winter doldrums," seek
the advice of a doctor. There may be physical and emotional issues involved
that need to be addressed.
up your home. (Wonder where the expression "spruce up" comes
from?) I've found that even just changing the placement of a picture
or a pillow can make a difference.I guess you can always use spruce
branches. Any history (or decorating) buffs out there who know about
- Molly R.
We love to play old folksongs as
a family. We take out the guitar and harmonize,usually not very well,
and try to remember verses and make up our own. It's great fun any season.
a cold winter's evening I curl up in front of the fireplace on a big
comfortable chair, sip a glass of red wine and read my favorite Agatha
Christie while I listen to classical music. Or that's my fantasy.
some form of exercise that you like enough so that you can do it regularly
, every day. Make it a routine that you don't need to think about --
that you just do, and then are please to have done.
-Ellyn Sullivan, (former Equinox Sales Manager)
This winter I've been redecorating
by painting my walls wonderful colors. It's a great lift to go to the
paint store and see all the beautiful choices.
week I brought Spring to the office by putting a bouquet of fresh cut
tulips on my desk!
recently started a family routine of cooking a meal together on the
weekends. This weekend my two daughters, my husband and I all worked
together in the kitchen, with each of us taking part in cooking. What
makes this routine really special is that my husband, a busy lawyer,
is an active participant.
-Alexandra Avlonitis Levi
try to find things that get make me smile and laugh -- whether it's
a joke, a funny TV show or the Sunday comics. We play a lot of indoor
games and my kids think board games are "bored" games. Games
you play when you're bored so you won't be bored anymore.
your children look around and begin to notice signs of Spring. We are
beginning to see a few, but over the next month there will be plenty
-Laura and Richard
kids have accumulated so much clutter in their room over the past few
months. Before the weather gets warm and everyone's too distracted,
I've been helping them sort out their toys and clothes. We figure out
what needs to be mended, what can be discarded or given away and what
to keep. When we did this last year I found they discovered things they
had forgotten about. Also, when there's less mess they seem to play
better and have fewer arguments.
been watching the Olympics -- can as a family. We talk about the events
and look up the countries on the globe. It's been a great diversion
during a stressful year.(this from a few years back, but the same idea
can be applied to other sports events.).
make a big salad with all the greens, fresh vegetables and other healthy
ingredients you can find. Enjoy this transitional weather and the beginning
of the new season!