5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues (at Home)

Does the time after the holiday season ever get you feeling blue? It does for me. It’s like the bottom falls out after New Year’s and I just don’t know what to do with myself. I miss the music on the radio, the movies on TV, the lights around town. All of the decorations, the magic, the wonder of Christmas is suddenly gone.

And we are stuck knee deep in the thick of winter and the long, gray days of…………blah. Well, maybe it’s just because I live outside of Rochester, NY where the sky doesn’t turn blue again until late spring and the snow has been known to stick around through April.

But either way, this year, I am determined to keep myself busy and not let the bleak winter days rule my mood. Which can be tricky for a homebody and introvert like myself. When it is cold, windy and snowy out, the last thing I want to do is step outside in it. So I like to find ways to beat the winter blues indoors.

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So today, as the next installment of Town and Country Living’s Cozy Living series, I am going to share some of these ideas with you! If you struggle with the winter blues or figuring out what to do with yourself when the Christmas magic rides off on Santa’s sleigh, I hope you find something on this list to perk up your spirits.

And the best part? They can all be done inside…where it is cozy and warm!

1. Color!

When my sister sent me my first adult coloring book, my honest thought was, “who has time for this?” I let it sit on my shelf for over a year without even opening it. One day, I got the urge, though, after coloring with my kids. I have been hooked ever since.

It reminds me of my days in high school and college when art was my life, and I could get completely lost in my work. Your focus is off of all the blah and you get to make the picture in front of you as colorful as you want. Even if it’s just for five minutes, the time spent can help you relax and feel good about tapping into your creative side.

It might feel silly at first, but once you start it is quite enjoyable and even a bit addictive!

Here are a couple that I am currently enjoying. I use both colored pencils and Sharpie markers in them. The markers do bleed through, but I love how vibrant they are in comparison and you can work faster. Now, my kids and I will sit side by side coloring together. They join me in my adult books and we have a lot of fun relaxing and brightening up our day with color.

And here a few that recently caught my eye. There are SO many options for adult coloring books. Snarky and funny ones, pretty and ornate ones, inspirational, whatever you can imagine you can probably find in the adult coloring book world.
This one would be perfect to keep the Christmas cheer long after it’s over. I think I need it in my life…

2. A Stack of Good Books

No matter the weather outside, I always have a book on my bedside table that I read nightly. I am a regular at our local library and love finding something new to perk my interest. This time of year, when all of the gatherings and busy shopping days and holiday prep are over, is the perfect time to sink into a good book.

If you find yourself not in the mood to head out to the library or a book store, you could always order books online or read on the various apps and devices available. Although, I must say, I love having an actual book in my hand when I read. And I still go to the library all winter. It’s one of the few places I don’t mind battling the cold for.

(Like my new fox mug? The kids got it for me for my birthday. You can find it here.)

Here are a few of the books that I have recently finished and the one I am currently reading. I love fictional novels, especially if they have a bit of a mystery. Life is busy with three little ones, so most of my reading time is done in bed at night. When you’re feeling blah or the weather is getting you down, it’s another way to get out of your own head for a bit and get lost in another world.


3. Finish a Neglected Project

One way to keep yourself busy and not let the cold weather make you feel like you can’t do anything, is to focus on a project you have ignored or abandoned. I have a list about a mile long so this one is actually tricky for me: which one to choose??? But, to not overwhelm myself and bring me in the deep abyss of blah, I try to choose just one and dive into it.

This winter, I am working more on our fixer upper dollhouse. It’s a project, I started all gung-ho and then stopped for quite awhile. I am excited to get back into it.

(Click here to see more from our dollhouse renovation.)

4. Declutter & Get Organized

If there is one thing that probably everyone could do after Christmas and all of the new gifts have been brought in, is declutter. I am always trying to declutter our home even now that we moved into a bigger one just over six months ago. It’s amazing how quickly it gets filled up! There are always piles of papers to recycle, clothes that don’t fit, and toys that are no longer used. I fill up boxes and send them off to donate all year.

After, I have decluttered an area, such as a closet or section of the playroom, it’s time to get it reorganized! There are several helpful books and articles to get you started if you don’t know where to begin. Some even start fresh in January and you can follow along month by month so as not to overwhelm yourself. This one helped me.

It can be so refreshing to clean up and organize your home after the holiday season. A couple of years ago I spent some time organizing our winter gear. We had no coat closet in that home, so I had to get creative!

5. Try Something New

Even though, I am a self-professed homebody, I still like to learn new things and am always picking up new hobbies. These days it’s actually amazing how many things you can learn right at home just by watching a video or reading a tutorial online. I remember the days when I just wished that was a possibility.

Anything you ever wanted to get into, I am sure you can open up YouTube or Pinterest and find detailed instructions. It’s perfect if you are an introvert or just aren’t the “go getter” type who wants to join a local club or group.

I have learned so much about photography and Photoshop just by taking online classes and watching video tutorials. Currently, I would love to learn how to weave and make macrame so those are on my list of new things to try. I will definitely be scouring the internet for the best tutorials!

If you really find yourself down this time of year, more than just “the blues” from being stuck inside, and can’t find your way out of it on your own, please don’t hold back on getting help. SAD is real and many people struggle with it.

I have a history of depression and have had my share of rough winter months feeling more than just blah. One January a couple of years ago, I was at a very low point, and sought out treatment to help me through.

Be sure to visit your doctor and express your concerns if you think you might be struggling with depression. No amount of will power can change brain chemistry. It’s not worth the time lost to depression when there is so much joy to be had once the right treatment plan is found. I know from personal experience!

I hope you enjoyed these ideas and are having a wonderful start to the new year!
Till next time…
~Alice W.

Be sure to visit all of the other Cozy Living contributors to see what inspiration they have to share today! Here is a sneak peek…


  • Danielle

    Alice, loved this post and your photography. That mug is too cute. I might need to try the adult color. LOVE that they have a Bob Ross one! Great also to highlight SAD. I always get the wintertime blues – I wouldn't say it is depression but good to highlight this and give information to get help just in case it's needed. Sending you hugs and warm thoughts. It is too cold to go outside here today.

  • Jennifer @ Town and Country Living

    All of your suggestions are great, Alice! And yes, I adore your new fox mug. Thanks for sharing the source!! I used to love coloring as a kid. I was actually thinking of doing paint-by-numbers this winter. Remember those? I do love to read and am going to check out your reading list. I started a John Grisham novel a few weeks ago but it didn't hold my interest like his early books did. Can't wait to see your macrame projects – it sounds like the perfect hobby for you!

  • Rose L

    I also do the coloring books off and on but prefer ones that do not have tons of detail. I get bored and discouraged when they do. Reading poetry is my thing as it encourages me with writing it. I do photography as well, mostly nature stuff, and it focuses my mind on the beauty and uniqueness of the world and away from what bothers me.

  • Amanda Becker

    Winter blues start to set in for me at the end of Jan. – beginning of Feb. Each one of these tips couldn't be more perfect. I've thought of purchasing an adult coloring book several times and never have. I think I'm going to order one today! I also LOVE the suggestion of trying something new!

  • BrocanteuseRose

    Love all the suggestions, and especially the note regarding depression. So important! If you like to read I have found Daryanda Jones, she does the Grave series, each one is better than the last, sort of a mythical Stephanie Plum/Janet Evanovich whom I also highly recommend. I'm also reading The Undoing of Saint Silvanus, just the artwork on the inside is worth checking the book out of the library! 🙂