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There’s no denying that waking up, then coming home to darkness can be pretty friggin' dreary. But chin up--there are so many ways (27, in fact) to maintain a sunny disposition all season long. (No actual sun necessary.)


1. Escape on the weekends. Half-day Fridays are not just for summer.

2. Spend time outdoors. Fresh air is basically medicine (according to the Mayo Clinic). A crisp midday walk it is.

3. Watch the sunrise. Luckily it's not crazy early this time of year (around 7 a.m.) so any chance for some daylight, take it.

4. Make a summer vacation Pinterest board. Science says that planning (cough, daydreaming about) your next summer vacation might just help you make it to April.

5. Buy blooms. Your kitchen table is already stoked.

6. Start fires. No, not to the blooms. We’re talking crackling logs and glowing embers. This is the stuff fall daydreams are made of. 

7. Let the light in. Take simple steps to maximize what light you do have. (For starters, it’s time to wash those windows and maybe paint a wall or two.)

8. Throw a Mexican fiesta. Tacos +  margaritas = instant vacation.


9. Treat yourself to seasonal staples. Suede booties, cozy cashmere knits, camel coats--all great incentives to get outdoors and strut your stuff.

10. Go the spa. If you’re missing the warmth of the sun on your back, a hot stone massage should fill the void quite nicely.

11. Paint your toenails a fun color. For a little pick-me-up every time you take off the woolly socks.  

12. Eat carbs unabashedly. This is officially a bikini-free zone.

13. But mix in energy-boosting foods. Nuts, leafy greens, yams will all help beat the winter slugs.


14. Read escapist summer beach books. The ones you never got around to reading when it was so lovely outside.

15. Even head to the coast. Salt air is good for the soul no matter what, and beach strolls are just as beautiful during the off-months.

16. Start your days with a small accomplishment. Make the bed. Or an amazing smoothie. Greeting the day by doing something positive right off the bat affects your entire disposition.

17. Volunteer. Trust.


18. Open the windows. Even if it’s chilly, a quick dose of fresh air will keep your place from feeling stuffy.

19. Bake...often. Fact: It’s impossible to be in a bad mood when the house smells like melting butter.

20. Keep active. Incorporate natural exercise into your day by walking an extra lap with the dog or taking the stairs at work. Endorphins are endorphins, however you can get 'em.

21. But know when to rest. Why are the darkest, coziest months sometimes the busiest? Make sure, though, you're still taking care of yourself so you don't burn out--or, God, get the flu.

22. Dress in color. That pink statement coat taunting you in the window? You should go buy it.

23. Upgrade your loungewear. Same.

24. Get creative. Knit scarves. Start a blog to store your photos. Try your hand at watercolors. Making things always leads to a greater sense of fulfillment. 


25. Make s’mores indoors. Guess what, kids? You don’t need a campfire to make these feel-good classics. (P.S. Cocoa reduces anxiety.)

26. Get a subscription to HBO Now. Because, face it: You’ve probably reached the end of Netflix. 

27. Fine, just go to the Caribbean. When all else fails, there’s always Anguilla.


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