6 Fun Ways To Get Through the Winter Slump


By Mary Yeotsas Van de Graaf

It is now the end of February and although we are almost over the hump (daylight savings is just around the corner!), it feels like winter in the northeast can just DRAG. ON. FOREVER. The sparkly promise of a fresh new year has lost its luster. New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside – my daily exercise goal has dwindled to barely once a week (I blame the cold). My attempt at curating stylish winter work-outfits has devolved into reaching for my warmest black pants and a lumpy wool sweater while I rub my eyes awake. Who can prioritize chicness when New York City is in a rotating state of slush, snow, and biting cold?

The short winter days, not to mention the constant stream of ever-depressing news, in addition to my recent inability to tear myself away from perfectly curated social media feeds featuring fabulous people on fabulous vacations are all enough to drive a girl to drink. Suffice it to say that the winter blues have set in and I have entered a bit of a rut.

But just as my melancholy had really started to rear it’s ugly head, something out of the ordinary happened this weekend. My husband was given a board game for his birthday, and he invited a couple of his friends over to play it. They each brought a new game, and voila. Impromptu game night! We opened a few bottles of wine, put on a great funk-inspired Spotify radio station (try St. Paul & the Broken Bone’s “Like a Mighty River” radio), and had such a nice night. It made me remember all that research I’ve read over the years about how trying new things makes us happier like this, this, and this.

I guess variety is the spice of life, but who would have thought that something as simple as playing a new board game could infuse some joy into this never-ending winter?  Not only was it a great change of pace, and so lovely to enjoy the company of friends without watching a movie or being glued to our phones, but we all had to learn a new game, which is a sure fire way to get the serotonin flowing.

So, in the spirit of spicing up my nights and staving off the blues, I’ve decided to institute a few more game nights before this winter comes to an end. We’ll make some spaghetti and meatballs a la Friday Night Meatballs, and invite over some friends for an evening of gaming and laughs. I’m feeling happier already.

This has also gotten me thinking about other ways to help me get through the rest of the winter and introduce something new into the rotation to keep things interesting. Here are a few ideas (that don’t require a lot of money) to help us all get through the rest of the winter.

Schedule a Game Night with friends.


To help get you started, here are some recommendations:

  • Power Grid (the game I learned last week). Admittedly for the more advanced gamers out there, this board game requires some strategy, but is addictive.
  • Code Name. Easy to learn and lots of fun.
  • Taboo. An old reliable, but so good.
  • Boggle.
  • Cards Against Humanity (for a more adult themed evening).

Learn a new recipe and share it with someone you love.


Looking at this for savory and this for sweet.

Watch a documentary and talk about it with your friends.


This one was excellent.

Plan a potluck at work.


Start a book club.


I joined one 2 years ago and it has been a great way to read more books and make new friends.

Find a bar that does trivia night and enjoy a night out.


Tell Us: How do you get through your winter slump?

Mary is part of the Contributing Writer Network at Thirty On Tap. To apply to become a contributing writer, please click HERE.

{featured image via pexels}

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