Author: Emma Chapman,Happiness,Tips,

Tips to turn that winter frown upside downYes, that's the real title of this post. And I meant it. I don't know about you, but I find myself getting a little bit down during the winter months. It's cold. It gets dark at 5pm. It's just not my favorite time of year. And that's OK. I think it was Groucho Marx who said that we (not events) have the power to choose if we're happy today or not. So, winter or no winter, let's discuss a few ideas to help us choose happiness this season.

1. Seek out light.

I feel like one of my big gripes during the winter is that it feels like it's constantly dark. Yes, there are actually less daylight hours during the winter months (where I live). But that doesn't mean that it's dark all the time. Seek out light by making more of an effort to get out of the office and maybe go on a walk during your lunch break (weather permitting). Or try to take advantage of sunny hours during the weekend. Another option is to add more light to your life. If your house feels constantly dark, why not add a lamp to your space, or replace a a thick lampshade with a thinner one. You could repurpose those holiday lights around the house. It'll feel super cozy! I'm going to try to get more creative with my time and space and seek out more light this winter. Who's with me?

2. Challenge yourself.

Oh yes, you knew I couldn't get through this post without talking about setting goals. I am a broken record when it comes to goal-setting. But it can make such a positive difference in life! I'm a believer, what can I say. So if you're feeling down this season, instead of focusing on how you wish it was warmer (looking forlornly at all your sandals in your closet), try setting some challenging goals for yourself. Learn to sew. Make a giant wall weaving. Redecorate your room. Cook your way through a cookbook. Train for a half marathon. Set a photography challenge for yourself. Learn to use Photoshop. Make that wedding scrapbook you always meant to make. Write a novel. Start a blog. The world is our oyster, guys, so make some goals and get in to it!

Lake ice3. Good smells rule.

In the winter I find myself getting more and more obsessed with good smells. It can make your space feel so much more cozy and vibe-y (not a word, but you get it, right?). Buy or make some candles. Try out a few stove simmers. Bake some bread. You've got options here. Currently the scents I'm craving are: lemon and woods-y smells (there I go again, making up words). Other great options: cinnamon sticks, rosemary, lavender, oranges, fresh baked cookies. Explore some scents this winter!

4. Plan something.

I like to think of this as active day dreaming. Does your budget & schedule allow for a weekend trip this season—then plan one (go somewhere warm for me!). If you are planning to move to a new apartment or your first home this year, maybe start a pinboard dreaming up how you'd like to decorate. Another fun thing to plan—parties! Plan a movie night, pot luck, or clothing exchange with your friends. Side note: I'm counting "Get Social" as my bonus tip here. :)

Winter on the lake5. Embrace winter.

It's easy to focus on all the things about this season that I don't love. I will have perpetually cold hands for the next three months. It's dark by the time I get off work. Blah, blah, blah. Focusing on the negative is easy. What takes guts is to notice and embrace the things you love about this season. For example, I'm looking to challenge myself to do some kind of photo shoot in the snow this year. Sure it's cold, but snow (and ice) can be SO beautiful in photos, and I can only get those kinds of photos during this season of the year. Think about it, what do you love about the season you are in? How can you embrace something about this time of year? Maybe you could go sledding (it's not just for kids!), make snow ice cream, knit a scarf—whatever works for you.

These tips are really for me, but I'd love you to join me—let's get happy this season! xo. Emma

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

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