mental health
BY: Elle Kensington

4 Ways to Boost Your Mood in Winter

How to beat the winter blues

Face it — winter can feel never-ending. It gets dark earlier, you’re stuck indoors, and you’ve already watched every movie on Netflix. Twice. What if instead of seeing the long winter months as a prison sentence, you re-frame it as an opportunity to shake things up? (like a snow globe, but for your daily routine.) Here are a handful of thought-starters to help you chase off the winter blues.

1. Think outside the workout box

Too cold for your morning run? Bored with going to the gym or the same yoga class on repeat? Why not ramp up your workout routine with a class you’ve never tried before? Give aerial yoga a shot—hanging upside down just might give you a new view on life. Try reformer pilates and discover a sense of balance and new muscles you never knew you had. Get an adrenaline fix and an endorphin rush by taking a trapeze lesson or a trampoline class. You’ll stretch yourself (literally) and have a blast while you break a sweat.

2. Show your skin some extra love

The best news? It’s skincare season! Or at least, it’s a great time to target certain kinds of treatments. Grayer days and low light in the great outdoors make it the perfect time for laser treatments, IPL photofacials, peels, and exfoliants you might steer clear of in sunnier months. Sun exposure before a particularly intense facial isn’t a problem if you’re already tucked inside and hibernating. Neither does any residual redness you might experience afterward. Dealing with stubborn sun spots? It’s a good time to add a stronger depigmentation serum to your daily routine. Certain treatments and serums aren’t advised during our brightest beach-going days, so winter is a great time to get a leg up on targeting any areas you’ve been thinking about.

3. Make the outdoors bearable

Be French. By that, we mean mix up some vin chaud (also known as mulled wine), grab a to-go cup and a friend, and head to the park for a stroll. It’s as easy as warming up a bottle of wine on the stove and tossing in some cinnamon sticks and cloves—with fun variations to explore, of course. Or whip up some spicy Mexican hot chocolate in a thermos and sit out by the fire pit with a few friends. Since too much time indoors can make us lethargic and cranky, skip the cabin fever and opt for a little fresh air and socializing with a warm, cozy beverage in hand.

4. Grab a brush and paint something

For instance: your bathroom ceiling (might we suggest gold?), your beat-up dresser, and your nails. Go nuts and buy a paint-by-numbers kit online. This meditative act of moving a brush back and forth does wonders for the soul (don’t ask us how), plus at the end, you have something to admire long after you put your brush down. Three cheers for new hobbies!

Win at winter

Winter can be challenging thanks to a lack of light, repetitive weather, and a sense of feeling unmotivated that seems to slow our social lives down. But it doesn’t have to be boring. Instead, look at it as a chance to explore new interests, spruce up your skin, and find creative ways to spend time with loved ones. These are just a few easy ways to win at winter.

Elle Kensington is a lifestyle writer based in NYC.

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