Happiness Hacks to Beat the Winter Blues

January can be a harder month for me.

In Utah and living in the valley, you get stuck in the inversion (yuck), and getting those blue-sky, sunny days is a rarity. I decided this year to beat the winter blues and create my own sunshine. As I focused on doing one happiness hack a day, I realized how much sunshine I could find, among the gloom. If you weren't able to follow along in January, start today and give these a try for this upcoming month. It will make a difference in your life, I can guarantee it.

1. Clean out a drawer or closet and donate anything excess.

2. Buy happy flowers from Trader Joes and watch them open on your kitchen table.

(This idea came from someone who messaged me about their happiness hack. They shared, "My secret is grabbing daffodils from Trader Joes and watching them open on my kitchen table. It reminds me to be open and watching for the sweet feeling of warmth and sunshine amidst the dreary days of January." How sweet is that. I immediately added it to my list.)

3. Smile and make eye contact with everyone you come across while you're out and about.

4. Visit someone who needs a visit, or call someone who needs a call.

5. Move on Monday! Whatever it is, get in 30 minutes of exercise.

6. Get outside to enjoy the sunshine. Find the mountains.

7. Eat 2.5-3 cups of veggies. A healthy body = a healthy mind.

8. Pamper yourself: Give yourself a spa night at home... face mask, bubble bath, yummy candle, paint nails, and of course a yummy snack. 

9. Express your love to someone outwardly: dip kiss in the kitchen, leave a love note under their pillow, be creative!!

10. Say three positive things about yourself in the mirror as you're getting ready for bed.

11. Get 7-9 hours of sleep and set an alarm not only to wake up, but to remind you to go to bed. It works!!

12. Wake up and DECIDE you're going to have the happiest day. See how that decision affects your next ~15 hours. We decide.

13. Make your bed first thing in the morning.

14. Spend at least 10 minutes reading a book you love. Consciously put away your phone and cozy up with a book.

15. Think of someone who has impacted your life in a positive way, whether from the past or more recent, and write them a handwritten letter to stick in the mail or deliver to their doorstep.. this could be a teacher, a coach, a neighbor, a friend, a coworker... My person was my fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Allard. It had been almost 20 years, but I tracked her down so I could deliver the note personally to her. It made my entire week.

16. Invite some friends over for dinner.

17. Set your table fancy for dinner tonight.

18. Turn off all notifications on your phone for social media. Less updates, less distraction.

19. Wake up 30 minutes earlier. That is YOUR time, so do with it what you want... use it for exercise, reading, studying, stretching, meditation ...

20. Turn on your favorite music and pick ONE room to clean that needs some help. Your car can count as a room. ;)

21. LAUGH. Make sure you laugh today. 


Here are my final words to wrap up January and welcome February with open arms:

I suggest we "...stop seeking out the storms and enjoy more fully the sunlight. I'm suggesting that we accentuate the positive. I'm asking that we look a little deeper for the good, that we still our voices of insult and sarcasm, that we more generously compliment virtue and effort." -Gordon B. Hinckley


And have a wonderful month of February.