1. Watch a movie
If you don’t have a collection of old DVDs at home (since so many people have them nowadays) why not rent an old movie from the video store. The older the movie is, the cheaper it is. Get a few girlfriends and have a movie night with some low fat popcorn or some nice wine or you can all get together in your PJ’s and laugh, cry and enjoy a good movie. Or you could watch it alone if you don’t feel like having people around you.

2. Pamper yourself
If you have the money, go to the spa, but if you don’t, why not relax in a nice warm bath in the comfort of your own home. You can throw in your favourite bubble bath or even just some rose petals, lavender or milk. Either way, light some candles turn off the lights and pamper your body mind and soul in a nice war, relaxing bath

3. Snuggle up
When I was young, the kids used to say that winter weather is BMW weather. BMW stood for Baby Making Weather. Now no-one is saying that you need to populate the nation now. What it basically means is snuggling up with the one you love. Nothing beats lying in the warm, safe arms of your partner, either in silence or whispering sweet nothings while the rain pours down outside. Especially if it is on a weekend morning then you guys can lay in bed late (if the kids don’t wake you up that is) and enjoy each other’s company.
Even Karen Carpenter sang in the above mentioned song, ‘Funny but it seems that it’s the only thing to do, run and find the one who loves me.’ So get that one and do that thing!

4. Light a fire
If you have the privilege of having an indoor fireplace, lighting a fire can be a calming element to have in your house. Not only does it warm up your house and save electricity, but you can just sit and watch the flames while you meditate. You could also incorporate tip #3 here. Another alternative is to have some marshmallows and braai it over the coals.

5. Take up a hobby, utilise time
In these times where we can’t or don’t want to go out, use the time to do something useful. You can read the book you have been dying to read, put in that hem, or start writing in your journal. What I like to do is to read my diaries from when I was a teenager. It’s interesting to see how much I have grown and how some things have stayed the same.
You could also take up a hobby like stamp collecting; you could build puzzles by yourself or with your kids (that way they also keep busy). You can also knit a scarf, jersey or cap for the winter. The knitted beanie is in again ladies.
Other alternatives include patchwork and quilting which you could do with a couple of friends or your kids. One activity we used to do as kids with my mother was to make clothes for our dolls or even make our own dolls with loose bits of material in the house.
The options are endless.

6. Arrange, rearrange, time for a change
It’s time for work and you have no idea what to wear. You open your cupboard and it looks like a hurricane hit it. It frustrates us but we just keep throwing the clothes back in.
When we are in a hurry, we don’t always take the time to fold our clothes neatly back into the cupboard. Take the time out on a rainy Saturday to bring order back into your cupboard. Put away your summer clothes to make way for the winter ones.
It also does not just have to be your clothes cupboard. It can also be your bookrack, the kitchen cupboards, the fridge or your linen closet.

Rearranging your room can also be a good way to bring some brightness, order or a sense of change into your life. Change your bedding, move the furniture around. Shift and change to your hearts content. Who knows, maybe you might even find that shoe you’ve been looking or all summer when you move that bed of yours.

7. Get that life back into you and your hair.
Most of the time we only colour our hair in summer for the new fresh season. That way we feel bright, cheery and new. Who says you can’t do it during winter? Just because you wear a hat most of the time does not mean that there can’t be some brightness underneath. Dye your hair a funky colour, colour away the grey hairs or just put in some highlights. With a new colour on your hair, your life automatically feels brighter and more colorful.

8. Nothing beats home made
Having delicious soup during winter is one thing I look forward to after a long day. Why don’t you try making your own soup from scratch? It is healthier that way because you can ensure that you use fat free or low fat products as well as make sure that you use fresh, organic ingredients.
Other goodies you can make is homemade cakes, biscuits, pies and rusks. Just make sure you use ingredients that will pile on the smiles and not the weight.

9. Enjoy it
Just because it is raining outside does not mean that your mood needs to be just as grey as the weather outside. Take some time out and watch the rain falling on the window pain and allow yourself to get lost in the moment. Take the time out to think about life, meditate if you want or just watch the puddles form and switch off your mind for a while.
Alternatively you can put on your Wellingtons and sing, jump and dance in the rain. If you live in a place where it snows, take your kids, dress all warm and snug and go build a snow man. If you live in a place where there is no snow, pile everyone into the car and take a drive to the mountains to enjoy the snowy wonder.

10. Be grateful, give back
With all the above mentioned tips, they are mostly done inside the house. Take this time out to appreciate that you have a warm house dry house, blankets to keep you warm and food on your table. There are so many communities out there that suffer tremendously during the harsh winter months.
Find out if there is an organisation near you where you can donate warm clothes, preserved foods, blankets, clothes and any other items that can be of use to those in need. Radio stations as well as supermarkets like Pick ‘n Pay also have drives that collect these items and distribute them. You can also start your own soup kitchen or join an already existing one in your area. That way you can bring warmth into someone else’s life, even if it is just through a cup of soup or a blanket to warm them at night.

I hope that these tips will help you to keep the blues at bay this winter. Whether it is through pampering yourself, building a puzzle with your kids, cuddling up with the one you love or assisting those in need. There is no way you can say you have nothing to do this winter.

Inform us of any organisations that you know of that collect items for winter or places where there are soup kitchens that need help.
You can also let us know of some great homemade recipes for this winter.

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