Hi guys! I’m Shell from cakeaftermidnight.com & I’m so excited to be doing my first ever guest post on the lovely Kate’s blog! Since it’s February and we’re still in the throes of winter, I wanted to share my top 10 ways to beat those wintertime blues.
Living in Tennessee isn’t all sweet tea and sunshine, though I wish it was! We get our fair share of cold weather, and while the occasional snow is pretty to look at, I am much more of a spring & summer gal. During winter, especially on those really blustery overcast days, it’s easy to get depressed. In fact, the official name for the winter blues is Seasonal Affective Disorder – symptoms can start in the fall and last all through winter, zapping all your energy and making you feel moody. It’s hard to get out of bed in the mornings when the sun isn’t even up yet. But good news! Punxsutawney Phil says spring is coming early this year, but until it does, here are some of my favorite ways to get out of that winter funk.
1. Start shopping for spring
What better time to prep your wardrobe than by doing a little springtime shopping? Stores are already putting out the bikinis and beachwear in prep for spring and it seems to come out earlier and earlier each year. There are some great deals to be had online since many stores run sales in prep for spring break. Snag yourself a new pair of sunglasses and that perfect neon bikini and then move on to #2 on the list.
2. Plan your next vacation
3. Take a mini-vacay or staycation
Can’t get away to the Bahamas anytime soon? No problem, you still have options! Take a mini weekend trip to a surrounding city to give yourself a change of scenery & break out of your usual routine. Living in Chattanooga, we’ve taken weekend trips to Savannah/Tybee Island, New Orleans, and several weekend trips to Gatlingburg. We’ve got a constant case of the travel bug, so any excuse to get away for a weekend is OK in my book. If you can’t swing a weekend trip, try for a staycation. Rent a fancy hotel room or B&B suite for the night and hit the town!
4. Read a book set in a tropical locale
A much cheaper option to still “escape” is reading! Pick up a book on travel (it might give you some ideas for your next vacation) or some “beach reads.” I love chick lit and travel-logue type books. Some of my favorites that have settings in exotic locations include Eat Pray Love, Keep Calm & Carry a Big Drink, and The Lost Girls.
5. Watch a movie
Not everyone enjoys reading; some people are just more visual, so a movie or TV show might be more your speed. A movie or show is a great way to escape and take your mind off the dreary gray skies. Mamma Mia is a personal favorite of mine because the setting in Greece is breathtakingly beautiful (Greece is on my bucket list of places to visit!). I also like watching the Travel Channel – especially around this time of year, they begin playing a lot of those “Top 20 Best Beaches” type countdowns. You’ll be swooning over the white sand and aquamarine water in no time!
6. Try a new makeup routine
It’s easy to get in a rut this time of year & the cold weather can do a number on our skin, leaving it dry and cracked. We often feel (and look) tired and the gloomy, rainy weather doesn’t help. Check out YouTube for a new beauty tutorial and give yourself a fresh-faced makeover. Nicole Guerriero is one of my favorite beauty YouTubers. Try out some spring and summer looks or pick up a new moisturizer to give your skin a wake up call.
7. Take an exercise class
I don’t know about you, but winter definitely zaps the energy right out of me. Get up and moving by taking an exercise class. Exercise does wonders not only physically for the body, but for your mental health and overall stamina for day to day activities. Try yoga (or hot yoga for you brave souls), cycling, kickboxing or zumba. There is literally something out there for everyone. Plus it will give you an excuse to buy some cute new workout clothes 😉
8. Create a fun cocktail
I could drink pina coladas & mojitos all year round. Get yourself in the summer mood and get creative in the kitchen. Check out Pinterest for some mixology inspiration, then get a few of your best gal pals together for a movie & cocktail night. You could even make it a theme party! Have everyone wear leis and summer-type clothes and pretend you’re at the beach, getting drunk on Blue Hawaiians!
9. Change up your environment
Your surroundings can play a big part in the wintertime blues. If you’re surrounded by dark, gloomy colors, it can really bring down your mood. Change up your bedroom – paint the walls a cheery yellow or pale blue. Not up for a total re-haul of your space? Check out Home Goods or Target and pick up a brightly colored new comforter and some throw pillows and makeover your bed. Print out square pictures of your favorite vacation memories and decorate your walls with them. You’d be surprised at how much happier you may feel just by changing up the look of your room!
10. Embrace it
If all else fails, embrace it because let’s face it – we have seasons for a reason and what fun would life be if it were summer all year? Make the most of these last weeks of winter – wear the hell out of those chunky sweaters and riding boots! Drown your sorrows in a mug of hot chocolate (or three)! Go ice-skating or skiing (if you live somewhere where that is available to you that is!) Snuggle up by the fire and delve into a good book. Take comfort in the thought that winter won’t last forever and sunny days are on their way 🙂
Giiiiirl I don’t know about you but I’m SO ready to slip into my bikini with a drink in my hand and find my way to a beach! A HUGE thank you to Shell for her awesome guest post! Remember…you can find her blog here, her Instagram here, & her Pinterest here! If you’d like to do a guest post (or know someone who would be great at it) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org as I’d like to keep this going as a regular thing! 🙂
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