Here Are 8 Ways To Stay Happy When You Just Want To Hibernate

by Leigh Weingus

Remember back in December, when you were all excited about the holidays, wool coats, cold weather and snow?

Yeah, I'm going to bet you're over that little fantasy by now.

Now, winter is all about doing anything to avoid going outside and declining invitations to hang out with your friends because it's too damn cold. (They understand. They didn't actually want to go out, they just felt like they should be social.)

Your dating life is on hiatus because you don't feel like shaving your legs -- that's what you're telling yourself, at least -- and most of your non-working hours are spent with a bottle of wine and Netflix.

Sound familiar? Yep, you probably have a case of the winter blues. The winter blues are the worst.

While I can't make summer come any faster, I can give you some super simple tips for boosting your energy and making your winter just a little brighter.

1. Light a candle.

For a lot of people, simply having little, flickering flames nearby makes them feel calm and cozy. But if that alone doesn't do it for you, try going for happiness-boosting scents.

Maybe for you, it's a floral one that makes you dream of summer or a cake-scented candle that gives you the warm fuzzies (and probably makes you hungry).

Another option: Choose scents proven to be happiness boosters like lavender, pine, cinnamon or vanilla.

2. Drink coffee.

It doesn't take a genius to figure out coffee can drastically improve your mood in the morning when you're bleary-eyed and missing your bed.

But as an added bonus, studies show simply smelling coffee can make you feel more energetic. On top of that, coffee boosts your metabolism, improves your workout (so long, winter bloat), is jam-packed with antioxidants and can make you feel happier.

Sold yet?

3. Buy an indoor plant.

Sure, succulents are trendy right now and can give your apartment a huge boost looks-wise (and having a nice, clean space to come home to is definitely important) but did you know having plants in your house makes you happier?

According to research done on houseplants, having plants in your home improves well-being, lowers blood pressure and makes it easier to concentrate.

Plus, unlike pets (also proven happiness boosters), taking care of a plant requires minimal effort. You can do it.

4. Open your blinds.

One of the biggest causes of the winter blues is a lack of light.

Between short days and avoiding being outside at all, it's easy to go days without seeing the sun, and that's no good. Vitamin D from the sun makes our bodies happy.

One option is to invest in something called a light box, providing you with the same spectrum of light you would get on a sunny spring day.

Not feeling that? You won't get the same benefits, but opening your blinds and letting the winter sunlight in can do wonders for your mood, even if there isn't much of it.

5. Work out at home.

I know going for a run right now isn't really an option, and forcing yourself to go to the gym early in the morning when it's 20 degrees outside is pretty much the worst thing ever.

But, exercise is incredibly important for happiness, so don't let it fall to the wayside just because it's a little chilly outside.

Luckily, working out at home has never been easier. Take an online class (some gyms now offer them), stream a yoga class, download the super popular workout app Sweat With Kayla, take on our 14-day workout challenge or do all of the above.

Whatever you do, don't stop moving.

6. Read a book.

Stop refreshing your Instagram feed and triple-checking your phone to see if he texted you back. (He didn't.)

Put your phone and computer in another room, and do something really old-fashioned; read a book.

According to an article published in The New Yorker last year, reading regularly can decrease stress, raise self-esteem and help you sleep better.

Need some suggestions? Check out our list of 10 books every Millennial should read.

7. Listen to upbeat music.

While there's certainly a time and place for sad music, if you're trying to go from super sad to super happy, skip the Adele.

Think about how motivating music can be when you're trying to get through a really hard workout. You'd basically be lost without it, right?

So, make a playlist of happy tunes, and get started. You'll be surprised at how much happier you feel.

8. Make winter vacation plans.

If you can, make plans to escape this winter.

Whether it's a week in a warm and sunny climate or a weekend trip to a town nearby, shaking up your routine a bit will improve your mood and help you stay focused.

Plus, simply planning and anticipating a vacation can give you a huge happiness boost and something to look forward to when it seems like winter will never end.

Believe it or not, spring will be here before you know it. So, do your best to stay warm and happy over the next few months!

Citations: 11 Scents That Can Do Wonders For Your Well-Being (Huffington Post), 12 Reasons You Need to Drink Coffee Every Single Day (Good Housekeeping), Plants Make You Feel Better (Psychology Today), Fit and Fun (Happify)