The start of the cold months is always enticing: jack-o'-lanterns and tiny costumes, crunchy leaves turning to crisp days and the first big snowflakes.
Next come the festive cookies and jovial meals shared with family and friends; the holiday carols warming our hearts; the pumpkin spice and eggnog lattes galore. Cozy nights by an open fire, roasting chestnuts and what have you.
Then the big ball falls, welcoming us into the new year with glitter and sparkles and midnight kisses.
And then it’s over.
And it’s just cold and windy and endlessly snowy.
So how do we beat those post-holiday blues? What do we do when our excitement about New Year’s resolutions wane, and the cold settles in?
Embrace the cold. Put on warm layers, grab a mug of hot cocoa and take yourself out into the crisp day. Go puddle-splashing! Nothing beats sloshing through puddles without a care in the world.
Meet your neighbors. You're never too old (or young) to learn about the things that make up your neighborhood — whether that's getting to know your actual neighbors, finding new restaurants or walking trails. Better yet, head out on foot and identify the trees and plants that are all around you! You'll be all the more delighted once spring comes, watching plants you now know come to life.
Repurpose old traditions. S’mores aren’t only for summer nights around a campfire. Make them in your fireplace, or over a candle at the dinner table.
Explore the local culture. Discover free days at a local museum or aquarium and take your kiddos to explore, too. Don’t have kids? Not a problem: It’s just as fun to wander through a new museum without them.
Treat yourself to a midday movie, which is never as much fun on warm sunny days when you’d rather be outside.
Don’t put away those holiday lights just yet. Instead of letting them gather dust in the basement until next year, create a fort and use lights to make it extra cozy on particularly cold or snowy days.
When the winter seem to be dragging, make a special meal. We don’t have to save those special recipes for the holiday season: Pick one or two of your favs, and get cooking with friends and family to continue the cheer of the season
If you had a Christmas tree and aren’t quite ready to part with it, turn it into a mini bird sanctuary. Create bird- and squirrel-friendly tree ornaments (e.g., peanut butter and bird seed on pinecones) and leave it in the backyard for the local wildlife. Little ones especially love to watch the animals snack!
Stock up on post-holiday sales. A little retail therapy can go a long way (especially at 50 percent off).
Get together with those you love, whether that means hanging out with your kids, your spouse, your friends and/or your pet. Winter is a perfect time to enjoy the lull, slow your pace and hunker down with a cup of tea for a good chat.