14 Ways to Cheer Up, Minimalist Style

The holidays are over, the weather is cold and gray, and maybe you could use a bit of cheer.  Many people eat or drink or shop when they're a bit down.  What would a minimalist do?

by Ginny at Small Things (www.gsheller.com)

  1. Light a candle.  Try pure beeswax.  The wax is made by bees who feed on honey, which starts as nectar from spring and summer flowers.  The delicate honey fragrance is delicious!  But any candle will add a heartening glow to a gray afternoon or a dark night.
  2. Keep green plants.  A pothos vine, sansevieria (aka snake plant), or a succulent jade plant will thrive indoors.  So will a beautiful weeping fig (ficus benjamina) with a braided trunk, or an air-purifying peace lily.
  3. Wear cheerful clothing.  Pull out that bright silk scarf or tie and those red gloves.  If you need new snow boots or a new umbrella, pick a bright color or a sassy print.  It may be just what you need to lift your wardrobe and your spirits.
  4. Take a walk in the rain or snow.  Bundle up.  Breathe deeply.  Look for birds.  Notice how colors appear brighter against the monochromes of winter.  Be refreshed!
  5. Listen to music.  Choose music that makes you want to dance:  jazz, swing, traditional Irish bands, disco, or your favorite oldies.  Go someplace to hear live music.  Move to the beat!
  6. Bring out old photos.  Remember friends and family, special celebrations and wonderful trips.  Display a sunny snapshot.
  7. Plan your garden.  Where I live in northern California, we can start looking for daffodils in mid-February, and blooming almond orchards soon after.  But perhaps you still have weeks to go before you can enjoy such beauties.  Don't despair -- January is the perfect time to plan your summer garden.  At the very least, you can browse through some inspiring seed catalogs.
  8. Buy a bunch of flowers.  You don't need something exotic or expensive.  Grocery store carnations will stay fresh for a week or more, and their lightly spicy fragrance is said to encourage a positive, energetic outlook.
  9. Minimize sugar and caffeine.  Their buzz will pass and leave you feeling down and dull.  Try Good Earth Sweet & Spicy Herbal Tea or Yogi Super Antioxidant Green Tea instead.  Indulge in the healthy sweetness of an apple baked with cinnamon, or some One Ingredient Banana Ice Cream.
  10. Play a fast-paced family game.  Uno, Spot It, Catch Phrase, and Pictionary are great games that can involve everyone.  Or do something physically active like Simon Says (really funny when adults play too), Balloon Volleyball, Indoor Basketball (use a bucket and a rolled-up pair of socks), or Freeze Dance.  Be sure to laugh!
  11. Stay hydrated.  Adequate water intake is good for your muscles and skin, and helps rid your body of toxins.  Filtered tap water is best; fill a pitcher and add lemon, lime, and orange slices, or try chunks of pineapple with a sprig of mint.  The Yummy Life has even more delicious ideas.
  12. Fill a bowl with oranges and tangerines.  Their sunny color, juicy sweetness, and burst of Vitamin C make them perfect for wintertime snacks.
  13. Count your blessings.  Go ahead, make a list.  You'll be amazed and grateful at how long it is.
  14. Sleep in a cool room.  Indoor heat dries your nasal passages, which can lead to snoring and a sore throat.  It also makes your skin dry and itchy.  So turn down the thermostat at bedtime, and snuggle under a warm quilt and a cotton blanket or two.  Get seven to eight hours sleep each night to feel refreshed in the morning, but don't oversleep.  Get up, get moving, have a great day!


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