There’s always a decompression time between Christmas and New Years when the holiday festivities are wrapping up and the Winter begins to set in. I can’t say that I’m all that knowledgeable about the “winter blues” per se since I live in Southern California (and it’s in the 70’s right now!) but the end of the year feeling definitely creeps up on me around this week. To stay cheery and have a positive outlook, I find that participating in my favorite activities seem to help.

For instance, I’m an outdoor kind of person. I’d much rather be outside gathering some much needed rays of sun than cooped up indoors. Some activities that motivate me during this time of year are:

  • Bike riding. It’s no surprise that I enjoy biking around town (just check out my gravatar!) On a beautiful winter day I hop on my bike and take a short ride around the neighborhood. The nice thing about a winter ride is that even when it’s cold outside, biking gets my blood pumping and warms me up.
  • Hiking. Another outdoor activity. I’m surrounded by hillsides that offer easy day hikes and during the winter, snakes are less likely to be squirming around which is a good thing.
  • Reading. I really don’t have much time to enjoy novels except around vacations. My winter vacation is just long enough to enjoy a novel or two. And, if the weather is gloomy, I can always catch up on some National Geographic Adventure magazines (dream of tropical locales without actually leaving my living room!)
  • Meeting friends for coffee. I’m a huge Starbucks lover (or addict depending on how you look at it). Spending a couple of hours chatting with a friend or two and caffeinating myself is a good time.
  • Playing a board game. Board games aren’t boring I say! It actually takes social and cooperation skills to play a game and follow directions.

Most of the activities that cheer me up are frugal activities that cost little to nothing. So not only am I engaging in activities that boost endorphins, I’m accomplishing my on-going goal of saving money. Two for one deals are my favorite!

How do you beat the winter blues this time of year? For those who live in more severe climates, what activities do you participate in?