Fast forward a few weeks from today, after all of the holidays and new year’s festivities. You may find yourself experiencing a serious case of the winter blues. With the shorter days, the limited amount of sunlight, and colder weather, it can be easy to choose to hibernate in your home or apartment until spring. However, that’s the worst thing you can do to maintain a sunny disposition throughout this sometimes challenging time of the year.

So, what’s the key to living your best life this winter? We’ve outlined below some tips to help you stay active and find the bright side of winter.

Engage in Social Activities

  • Volunteer at a local organization that you feel passionate about – Not only will this benefit the community, but it will benefit you as well! Volunteering is a great way to get you to spend time out of the house, meeting new people. Find a purpose and expand your horizons; you’ll feel good about making a difference
  • Join a book club
  • Invite friends over to knit clothes to donate to a local shelter or to do a clothes swap
  • Throw a recycle crafting party
  • Take a class (yoga, drawing, cooking, trapeze, writing, the options are endless!)

Bundle up and Get Outside

  • Help out at a local sanctuary (these don’t get much help during the colder months of the year)
  • Enjoy the plethora of activities you can only do during winter, like snowshoeing, skiing, sledding, ice skating, building a snowman, etc.
  • Head out on a photo expedition and see what winter treasures you can capture
  • Go for a hike
  • Take your dog for a walk
  • Go on a scavenger hunt
  • Play outdoors with your kids

Move Your Body

  • Nothing elevates mood and motivation like exercise
  • For best results, opt for exercising outside, in natural light, for the most mood-boosting benefits of vitamin D
  • Consider taking a yoga or spin class, for example, for the added benefit of getting to socialize and meet new people
  • If the weather outside is extra frightful, exercise at home

De-Clutter Your Home

  • Getting rid of unnecessary items and organizing your home can help reduce a lot of stress from your life
  • You can donate your unwanted belongings to a local non-profit where they can have a second life in somebody else’s hands

Although it’s easy to come up with hundreds of excuses why you just want to “stay in” all winter, these fun ways to stay productive even on the coldest of days will certainly help you battle the winter blues.

Some other ways to stay mentally and physically healthy during the winter include:

  • Eating a balanced diet (make sure that you’re consuming plenty of foods that contain  vitamin D like kale, okra, and white beans)
  • Taking necessary supplements
  • Getting adequate sleep
  • Doing lots of activities that bring you joy
  • Embracing sunlight when you can
  • Wearing bright colors
  • Listening to mood-boosting music
  • Meditating

Another way to feel good during the winter (and year-round for that matter) is to make choices in your daily life that benefit the planet. Stick to the reduce, reuse, recycle rule and choose an energy supplier that offers environmentally focused energy solutions to power your home (like Kiwi Energy, for example).