Beating the Winter Blues | 45 Ideas for Boosting Your Winter Happiness

Anyone else feeling a bit down since Daylight Savings? Yesterday I was on the playground with the kids at 3:30pm and it was already getting dark! This morning we have our first freeze warning of the year and the wind is blowing fiercely outside. Luckily it is bright and sunny though, which makes such a difference. I remember when I was touring I used to switch hotel rooms multiple times in each new city until I got a room with lots of light (I probably drove the hotel staff nuts!). It really does make such a difference to my mood, though!

In anticipation of the winter, I sat down a few weeks ago and made a list of Winter Happiness Boosters. I plan to hang this list up in our kitchen and reference it whenever I need a pick-me-up. 


1. Buy a new plant.
2. Bake a new recipe each week.
3. Make a winter bucket list.
4. Watch a favorite movie (rom-com!)
5. Get some fresh air everyday.
6. Go for a walk!
7. Open a window!
8. Put on some music.
9. Listen to an inspirational podcast.
10. Try a new cocktail every week.
11. Create some hygge in your home.
12. Start a craft project.
13. Pull out that sewing machine and make something.
14. Knit!
15. Have an indoor picnic.
16. Make a Winter Adventure List.
17. Paint in the snow with food coloring.
18. Diffuse some essential oils.
19. Light some candles.
20. Have a dance party.
21. Keep a gratitude journal (and your kids, too!)
22. Have a living room slumber party.
23. Build a fort.
24. Decorate with twinkle lights.
25. Create a winter arts & crafts bin.
26. Create a scavenger hunt that you can play at Target.
27. Go out for cookies and hot chocolate at a local bakery.
28. Do some yoga.
29. Get a massage.
30. Take a bath.
31. Get a pedicure.
32. Buy some flowers.
33. Print some photos of summer/happy times and create a new gallery wall in your home.
34. Go for a walk on the beach (even in the snow!)
35. Have a day out in the city.
36. Grow something.
37. Try a new recipe.
38. Invite friends over.
39. Have a girls' wine night.
40. Call or Facetime a friend or relative.
41. Let the kids have a virtual playdate via Facetime.
42. Start a "color project" - photographing items of a certain color each week.
43. Take a watercolor class on Skillshare.
44. Start a happiness journal.
45. Read a book.

I've already started on a few of these items and they DO make a difference. I bought some new plants, I've been keeping a happiness journal where I keep clippings of different images or quotes that make me happy, I've been diffusing oils, and I bought some collage frames to put up some of my favorite summer photographs.

What are your favorite winter pick-me-ups?

Stay warm and happy, everyone!

Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer or lifestyle videographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family, small business or event, please contact her for more information.