Winter Blues Busters: Happiness Generators To Help You Push Through

Winter BluesWinter in Iowa is hard. The lack of sunshine, outdoor activities and gatherings can have you feeling down in the dumps during a normal year. Add the second year of a global pandemic, political leadership changes, an economic crisis, and civil unrest – it’s a small miracle we’re sane.

Even acknowledging these feelings hasn’t been enough to prevent slinking back into a “funk”. I’m just over everything: the pandemic, cold weather and snow, being stuck in our house, not seeing friends and family as much as we’d like, etc.

One word summarizes the entirety of my mental state: Blah.

While speaking with family, friends, and coworkers, I get the sense I’m not alone. 2020 has seeped over into 2021 and we’re all over literally everything.

I could just sit here and feel sorry for myself. So could you. To be entirely honest, some days I do. I’m not mad about it. However, I’m also trying to take ownership of my state of mind and behaviors that exacerbate these feelings. I’ve committed to take small actions every day and engage in activities that are tried and true winter blues busters. So far, it’s helping.

So, I’m here to help with a few happiness generators to help you bust through those winter blues.

I’m a creative at heart, so most of my blues-buster activities involve art. That said, let me correct a misnomer – you do not have to be “artsy” to enjoy art. Even if you disagree, trust me on this one long enough to give at least one of the ideas below a try. Bonus points if you have kiddos and extend these activities to include them.

Some of my favorites:

  • Doodling – let your mind go and allow the pencil/pen to lead the way.
  • Art journaling – doesn’t have to be fancy or complicated. Yes, this might sound juvenile, but I promise it’s also relaxing. Start small by outlining days of the week, stickers, to-do lists, etc.
  • Drawing – I’m a big fan of creating art from life. Grab an apple out of your fridge and let your inner artist free.
  • Painting – don’t worry, no Picassos required. Watercolor is my current favorite. As one of the most forgiving mediums, grab a few cost-effective supplies and give it a whirl. Remember, it’s just paper (you should still recycle )!
  • Writing – a favorite in our house consists of an exercise we call “round-robin storytelling,” which involves one person starting a story with a single sentence. The next person adds to the story with an additional sentence. You go around and around until the story is completed.
  • Crafting – my current obsession: all things Cricut. I’ve happily fallen down the rabbit hole, but have to say I’m glad I did. I’m finding so much enjoyment out of trying new projects, creating my own iterations of products I might have otherwise purchased, AND roping the kids into participating. Keep in mind, a Cricut is not required to have fun. Jump on Pinterest and search for activities using supplies you already have around the house.
  • Reading – much of my job involves reading, editing, writing, etc. so at the end of most days in 2020 I felt too burnt out to read more. So I thought. A goal for 2021 remains to commit to reading at least 10 minutes every night. So far, I’m on my fourth book.
  • Exercise – yeah, yeah, yeah, I know this goes without saying and is on everyone’s list. I whole-heartedly agree. Again, start small. Walk around your block, house, or bedroom. Anything to get your body moving during these long winter months will help.
    • Struggling getting yourself up and/or having energy? Try writing down your commitment to be fit in a calendar, planner, or even notebook. Once you’ve made the mental commitment to yourself, you’re much more likely to follow through.
    • In a rut? Try out a new gym, class, or video/stream.
  • Face-Time a family member you haven’t seen or even make a phone call once a week. This does wonders for your own mood and is sure to provide the recipient with a nice boost, too.
  • Clean (if you enjoy it!) and/or reorganize – I tend to purge post-Christmas. A toy goes in, another goes out. This could also be a great way to earn a few bucks by selling unwanted items on social media or in consignment stores. Better yet, donate!
What are your favorite tips for pushing through the winter blues?

 Make sure you never miss out on a parenting or community-related blog post: sign up to receive Cedar Rapids Moms posts in your inbox.  While you’re at it, join our VIP List to ensure you’re one of the first to know about upcoming Cedar Rapids Moms events and promotions!!


Guide to Indoor Play in the Cedar Rapids Area

Discover the excitement of indoor play places in the Cedar Rapids area! From imaginative playgrounds to interactive zones, there's a world of adventure waiting for kids of all ages. Whether it's a rainy day...

Embracing the Joy of Raising an Only Child

As parents, we often find ourselves navigating through a sea of societal expectations and well-meaning advice when it comes to raising children. Among the many discussions surrounding family dynamics, the choice to have just...

40+ Date Night Ideas | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Looking for a vibrant night out in Cedar Rapids? Explore over 40 diverse spots, ranging from cozy cafes to lively bars, and everything in between! Whether you crave a chic 5-course dining experience, a...

Kids Eat Free or Discounted | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Below is a list of restaurants that offer special promotions for free or discounted kids' meals! Please feel free to leave a comment below of your favorite restaurant(s) participating in such promotions so we...

Coffee Shops | In & Around Cedar Rapids

Embracing the beautiful chaos of motherhood in Cedar Rapids? Dive into the heartwarming journey of parenting amidst the vibrant coffee culture that graces our city. Explore cozy coffee shops where laughter blends with the...
Join our community.
Be the first to know about new resources, can't-miss happenings, and new blog articles! 
Yay, we're so glad you're here! Keep an eye on your inbox