Mental Tricks That Will Help You Hate Winter Less

I'm no stranger to winter. Raised in Iowa, I'm all too familiar with the extreme whiteouts and wind chills that start in November and don't reliably end until early April. It's the kind of weather that makes my nose hair freeze and my face hurt. But over the years, those of us from colder climates develop creative ways to thrive in winter's grip. If you find yourself tiring of the season, take heart and take heed! Here are seven mental tricks that might help you learn to love winter — or at least hate it a little less.

1. Understand Winter's Benefits

The purpose of cold winter months isn't simply to drive us all crazy with cabin fever. The long deep-freeze kills disease-carrying insects, interrupts the migration of invasive species, and slows the growth of nuisance vegetation. Ice buildup along lake shorelines even helps reduce soil erosion and protect wetland areas. At those moments when you feel frustrated by the frigid temps, remember — there's a beneficial cycle at play in nature.

2. Embrace All Things Domestic

Tired of winter interrupting your normal routine with freezing temps, snow, and icy roads? Maybe it's time to dominate domestically. Make a list of projects you can tackle and easily complete each week. My own list includes pricing items for a summertime yard sale, shredding stacks of personal paperwork, scanning and saving old family photos, and finally learning how to bake something — anything — from scratch. After two or three months of projects, I'll be more organized, more capable in the kitchen, and a few steps closer to spring.

3. Hang Out With Winter Enthusiasts

Misery loves company. If you want to beat your cold weather woes, don't look for the like-minded. Instead, seek out those folks who flourish in winter. With a little coaxing, you may find yourself enjoying the season with friends who love snowboarding, ice-fishing, or whiling away entire afternoons playing giant Jenga at a local pub.

4. Get Oh So Cozy

Roughly translated from Norwegian, "koselig" means "coziness." Instead of fighting winter, do what the Norwegians do: Shift your thinking and give in to the spirit of the season. On those cold winter nights, wrap yourself in a down comforter, enjoy a steaming mug of cider, and binge-watch a TV series or lose yourself a good book. (See also: 50 Fun Things to Do When You're Stuck Inside During Winter)

5. Indulge in Little Luxuries

Acquiring more stuff isn't the path to happiness, but a few strategic luxuries can help take the frost off winter. Treat yourself to some scented candles, good wine, high-end chocolate, or a monthly massage. While you're at it, spring for a temporary subscription to a video on-demand service like Netflix or Hulu to pass the time. (See also: 8 Little Luxuries That Go a Long Way)

6. Let the Light Shine In

Though it's a commodity during winter months, natural light is an essential mood lifter. Keep curtains and blinds open during the day, repaint dark or drab walls, clear clutter away from windows, and flood your space with as much natural light as possible.

7. Plan a Spring Fling

Having something to look forward to can make cold winter months seem like a mere blip on the calendar. Schedule a warm weather trip and countdown your departure date with an app like Days Until or Countdown+. Then, spend those snowy afternoons planning your itinerary, reserving a hotel, refining your vacation wardrobe, and finding new ways to squirrel away extra fun money. Spring will be here before you know it.

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Do you hate winter? Here are seven mental tricks that might help you learn to love winter — or at least hate it a little less. | #winter #wintertips #lifehacks

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