Although winter can be a beautiful season—freshly-fallen snow, icy designs formed on windows, twinkling lights—there’s also no denying the cold temperatures and dark nights. It’s no wonder that during this time of year, many people struggle with low energy, bleak moods, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD or winter blues).
Naturally, many of us begin to long for a vacation, preferably somewhere tropical and warm. Sometimes, we can work out our budgets and schedules to take such a trip. But if your dream vacation just isn’t in the cards, don’t lose hope. There are plenty of things you can do at home to instantly transport yourself to those amazing places that top your list.
And here’s another way to take a mini vacation— our Happy Place Giveaway. Throughout January 2018, enter to win $300 in prizes, including a HappyLight Touch LED 10,000 Lux Light Therapy Lamp.
To bridge the gap between now and your next vacation, look no further than these 7 “getaways” and discover your happy place every day.
Make an Inspiration Board
Visuals can be a lot more powerful than people give them credit for, and an inspiration board is great way to jumpstart some visualization exercises. You can cut pictures out of magazines or print digital images, and then tack them up on a bulletin board. Or you can make a virtual inspiration board on Pinterest. Focus on a fantasy location, and when those feelings of stress arise, look at your board and imagine that you’re really there.
Plan a Themed Dinner
If there’s a particular cuisine that’s famous in your dream destination, pull together a few recipes and host a themed dinner. You could throw an indoor Hawaiian luau, a Parisian breakfast, or even a “food truck night” complete with tacos, skewers, and other mobile eats.
Watch Videos and Webcams
YouTube can provide a mental escape during the winter, offering endless videos of beloved vacation spots. Settle in for 20 minutes of swimming alongside dolphins or watching a colorful sunset from a beach. You can also track down webcams that provide a real-time glimpse into your favorite locations.
To make this experience feel even more real, turn on your light therapy lamp and get that boost of sunshine right in the comfort of your own home.
Read a Book
Visit the library or peruse Amazon and find books that focus on vacation destinations you’ve visited or one day hope to visit. Flip through guidebooks or coffee table books splashed with gorgeous photos. You might learn a few fun facts along the way, too.
A Verilux task lamp is a great companion to include as it can provide a bright light as you read and then a warmer, more ambient light once you’re finished.
Get a Day Pass to a Pool, Sauna, or Spa
If you just need to soak in soothing waters or feel some warmth on your skin, get a day pass to a local pool, sauna, or spa and imagine that you’re luxuriating at a deluxe resort.
Explore Your City
Even if the weather outside is frightful, motivate yourself to get out of the house and play tourist in your own town. It might not be the tropical paradise you’re thirsting for, but you may discover restaurants, shops, and landmarks you never knew existed. Doing something new may help you satisfy those feelings of wanderlust.
Create Your Own Sunshine
On those gray, cloudy days, when all you can think about are piña coladas and palm trees, that’s the time to fire up your HappyLight® therapy lamp. With a boost in energy and elevated mood, even though the snow and ice lie just outside your window, you may feel as if you really are on vacation, and that’s a joyful feeling we all can benefit from.