4 Feel-Good Things to Do to Beat the Holiday Blues

friends sitting at bench in the middle of snow

Sometimes, the best way to shake off the stress of the holiday season is to distract yourself with a positive activity guaranteed to lift your spirits, whether that’s time spent outdoors or a bubble bath with all the rainbow bath bombs you can find.


The holidays may be the most wonderful time of the year, but they can also be the most stressful. In addition to your usual school work, you might have gifts to buy, a tree to decorate, cookies to bake, and countless other traditions that take time and effort to pull together. Add in a serious lack of sunlight, and you have a recipe for the winter blues. Here are four ways to find your holiday spirit, even if you’re feeling downright Grinch-like.


Step Up Your You-Time

Absolutely everyone needs a little time to themselves to reset, recharge, and, of course, do nothing at all. If wrapping up presents and the school year has kept you busier than ever, chances are you’ve been skimping on giving yourself some much-needed space. The answer? Intentionally set aside an evening to just kick back. Draw yourself a hot bath and throw in a rainbow bath bomb, a scoop of epsom salts, or a generous dose of bubbles—whatever seems most indulgent. Before getting in, leave your phone in another room so you can’t get distracted or keep track of the time. Light a scented candle or two, dim the lights, and turn on some low-key tunes. You might as well pamper yourself with a face mask while you soak … and get a deliciously junkie magazine to flip through too.


Find Perspective in the Great Outdoors

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth Bennet asks: “What are men to rocks and mountains?” Whether or not it’s romantic trouble that’s got you feeling low, spending time in nature is a great way to get a new sense of perspective. Fill up your Hatchet Backpack and head to the hiking trails; grab your mountain bike for an uphill adventure; or strap on your skis and hit the slopes. If you can, bring a camera (or use your phone) to capture the beauty and peace around you, so that you have a memento to turn to whenever you need a pick-me-up.


(Psst, speaking of Austen, reading great literature can also help you see the world in a whole new way.)


Get Elbow-Deep in Glitter Glue

For some people, the best way to shake off the blues is to dive hands first into a project. The holidays are a perfect time for a little DIY; not only do you have more free time, but you might also need to come up with a present or two. You can knit a scarf, sew a face mask, or build a planter to let your friends and family know how much you care. Do something for yourself, too, like tie-dying a sweatshirt. Or, go to town on your Right Pack. Grab your glitter glue, bedazzler, fabric markers, and embroidery kit—and don’t forget to add a few patches while you’re at it.


Sweat Your Cares Away

There’s nothing like a little exercise to get your mind off things. After all, when your heart’s pumping and your brow’s sweating, who has the energy to worry? There’s also the fact that exercise releases endorphins, which can help lift your spirits. So go for a run, sign-up for an online yoga class, or turn on some music and start dancing—whatever you need to do to get yourself moving and throw off your funk. It might be hard to get going, but once you’re done? You’ll be glad you did.


If you’re dealing with a lot of anxiety this winter, these mental health tips can help you stay grounded.


By: Jessen O’Brien