I admit, I haven’t always been a winter person. I love beaches, summer clothes, warm weather, cocktails…. in general winter isn’t my favorite season. Unless ofcourse it’s actually winter and you can go ice skating, or snowboarding.
But I’m Dutch. Dutch winters are not known to be super cold, so this year I was even happy when there was a little bit of snow. The main reasons why winter is not my favorite season is the fact that the days are so short or just that the skies can be so grey. This year for me is extra hard, since this is my first time in 4 years that I’m actually in Europe in Winter. So I kinda got used to the summer feeling.
However, there is good news! You don’t have to just close your eyes and only open them again when summer is back. There are lots of ways to keep happy while you are in winter. I’m gonna give you 10 tips that will help you get through winter:
1. Don’t skip going Outside
When the weather is gloomy, the skies are grey and it’s just supercold… it might be tempting to stay inside as much as possible. Don’t forget to go outside though. When it’s not raining, just put on your warm jacket on and take a walk! Could be during your lunchbreak, could be for a quick run in the morning.. afterwards you will feel a lot better.
2. Dance like you are at a Summer Party
Just because it’s winter, doesn’t mean you can’t have summer parties. I started doing salsa dancing a while ago and almost every day you can go in the city and go to a party that makes you feel like you are in South American or Spanish summer. For example Salsa Club Mystique in Amsterdam has great salsa parties every Friday night. A cocktail in your hands and some Latin music playing, instant happiness!
3. Start Planning a Trip
Even when it’s still gonna be months away, start looking for inspiration for your next trip. You want to go backpacking in Thailand or go on a beach holiday in South Africa or the Carribean? Check what you would need for that and talk about it with your friends. Planning ahead gets you in the right mood already. You feel like you need a break sooner? Take a little citytrip and go away for a long weekend to a place you have never visited before. What about Berlin for example?
4. Smell the Scent of Summer
Just before you leave the house, or just anytime you feel like it… pick up your bottle of sunscreen (that you always have in your house!) and spray just a little bit on your wrist or neck. Guaranteed that the smell of the sunscreen you used when you were on the beach or on your citytrip takes you back to that time and puts a smile on your face. Also works with your summer fragrance.
5. Make a Happy Playlist
It always helps me to have a special happy playlist with only happy. This can include some songs I used to listen to when I was traveling, some summer songs of 10 years ago, but also some new awesome songs I just discovered. Whenever I feel down or tired, music never fails to wake me up and makes me feel like dancing. See for example one of my Spotify playlists.
6. Try out Cafés & Restaurants you have never seen from the Inside
I’m sure there are lots of cafés around you that you haven’t been to, or like in summer, have only been outside on the terrace. There are lots of places that are super nice to visit, especially in winter. The warm atmosphere can totally help you get over your fear of going outside in winter. You just go there, take a hot chocolate (or maybe a gluhwein) and relax. A cool place in Amsterdam is for example Café Brecht.
7. Make use of your time inside
Ofcourse winter is also a perfect time to spend more time at home. But you don’t want to just come home, see some tv and sleep. Make use of your time at home! You want to learn a new language? Play an instrument? Write a novel? Now is the perfect time! Or you can finally make time for that movie you’ve been wanting to see or that book you’ve been wanting to read for ages.
8. Embrace all the good things of winter
Make a list of all the things you love about this season and ask your friends what they love about it. A good glass of wine in front of the fireplace? Always works! Or you can actively look up the winter and enjoy everything it has to offer. Go on a snowboarding trip, try iceskating at Museumplein, visit the Ice Bar! Don’t forget to make yourself some delicious soup when you come home, or a hot chocolate with a little bit of rum.
9. Crank up the temperature
By this I don’t mean just put your heating system inside on until you sweat out of the house. What I mean is to actively look up places that make you warm and relaxed, like a welness center! It never dissapoints to just sit in the warm water outside and breathe in the fresh air. Or go in the 80 degree cabin and come out to take a little walk in the garden. If you can even enjoy a lovely massage while you’re there… even better! If you like being a bit more active, you can try hot yoga!
10. Spend time with your friends and family
When everybody is less busy going on summer holidays and spending time outside, it’s time to get a little closer. Invite your friends or family for a lovely dinner at your for example, followed by some great wine or a home-made dessert. Gives you a good excuse to practice your cooking and hosting skills as well!
Then ofcourse it you have lots more tricks like wearing your sunglasses every time the sun is out, take enough vitamins and smile a lot! If it’s by trying to ignore the winter by taking you’re mind back to summer or by actively doing things that are perfect to do when it’s cold, it doesn’t matter. Just enjoy the season and make sure there’s always a smile on your face!