If you’ve been trapped in the never ending winter vortex with 90% of the United States right now, chances are you’re craving some warmth and sunshine!

If you have the freedom and finances to take a last minute vacation, then why the heck are you reading my blog? Go enjoy the sun!  I tried to book a quick vacation but couldn’t find anywhere affordable that was over 65 degrees in the continental US.

You know what they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”, so I had to get creative before I went crazy.  

Here are 10 cheap & easy ways to beat the winter blues and banish cabin fever!

1. Make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin D.  Most people aren’t and if you are supplementing, read the studies about pairing D with Vitamin K2 for proper absorption.  You might need mega doses for awhile if your levels are low.  Unless you are outdoors every day for at least an hour, 5000-10000 IUs won’t hurt you.

2.  Put on some summer music.  Perhaps it’s southern rock, reggae, Hawaiian, or bluegrass.  Pandora has stations with summer hits from the 80’s, 90’s and 2000’s.  Whatever your taste, music can set the mood and have you feeling like you’re on the beach.

3.  Find some summer flicks on Amazon Prime or Netflix.

4. Take a LONG, HOT SHOWER.  Don’t forget to sing along to your summer hits and moisturize well afterward.  If you have some suntan oil or tropical scented lotion, use that!   Smells have a strong memory association that will have you reminiscing in no time.



5.  Speaking of smells, if you have any beachy scented candles stashed away, break them out and scatter around!  Even fruity scents like apple or grapefruit will invoke a summer mood.

Sun & Sand Zulily

6. Read a great summer book.  Get some of these on Kindle right now!

7. Plan a vacation.  The act of anticipating an exciting event increases the feel-good receptors in our brains.  Even if you aren’t going to take a real vacation this year.  Set aside an hour to read some travel blogs and look at your favorite fantasy destinations.  No one ever feels bad looking at pictures from Costa Rica and Tahiti!  Priceline has good prices on vacation packages. 

8. Reach out and touch someone.  Married? Go have sex. Have Kids? Go snuggle them.  Have a friend or family nearby? Give them a long hug.  Don’t have anyone to touch? Book a massage. In fact, if you can afford it, book one or two a month during the winter.  Touch releases oxytocin which produces feelings of well-being and can significantly reduce chances of early death!

9. Learn something new.  Take a free online class from Creativebug – free for two weeks!

10. Throw a luau or summer beach party!  Put on some leis from The Dollar Tree, play some Hawaiian tunes, break out the mixed cocktails (see below for a semi-healthy option) with little umbrellas and ask guests to bring pool chairs or lounge chairs.  Set up a tiki bar in your living room and pretend it’s 90 degrees outside!

PinaColada

Pina Colada Smoothie Recipe & Photo From Paleo Newbie:

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup of full-fat coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup of chopped pineapple
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbs raw honey
  • Ice
  • Optional: Scoop of protein powder or shot of rum

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a kitchen blender (I recommend BLENDTEC and HERE are some great ways it will save you money!)
  2. Blend until creamy
  3. Insert straw and enjoy

What are some ways you get through the winter blues?  Do you have any tips for making it bearable for kids when it’s too cold to play outside?