12 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

It’s 10 degrees, windy and overcast.  We only have patchy snow and bare ground in the backyard.

Welcome to late winter in Upstate New York.

Sure, we don’t have 5 feet of snow.  I’m not out shoveling every day, driving conditions are fine and we are pretty snug and warm inside our house.  But there is just something about the tail end of winter that is so. . . blah.  I’m tired of being cold.  I’m tired of it being gray.  I want to be able to get outside but it’s just cold and blechy out–not enough snow to play in but not warm enough to run around outside without the snow.

I’ve got the winter blues.

Walmart asked me to come up with a way to beat the winter blues with items from their store and a $20 spending limit.  Since you can buy pretty much anything at Walmart, that gave me a lot of options.  So many in fact that I wasn’t sure what to do.  So I did what I often do when I need to brainstorm–I headed on over to the Frugal Upstate Facebook page and asked for input from all of my great readers over there.  (Seriously folks-if you are on Facebook and you haven’t “liked” the Frugal Upstate page yet, you should join us! We have a lot of fun.)

Thanks to Debbie, Karina, Megan, Pino, Robin, Jenn, Lari, Cristina, Melanie, Tamara, Jodi, Katie, Pam, Doris, Jennifer, and Brian for these great ideas!

12 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

1.  Host a “Mini Makeover” day with manicures, pedicures, and some other home spa treatments.
2.  Beat the blues by giving to others! Invite some friends over and then make/create/bake something to give away to the poor, to neighbors, to teachers or to friends!  Or have friends get together and collect food and items for a local shelter (pet or human).
3. Go outside and get active. Try sledding or take a winter hike. If you can throw in a winter bonfire for surefire fun.
4. Burn some energy by having an indoor obstacle course and then having a picnic on a blanket on the floor.
5. Redecorate to give your spirits a lift.  Change up a common room with paint and/or accessories to give everyone a “new” space.
6.  Have a friends day with movies and pizza.
7.  Volunteer in your community to raise the spirits of others and yourselves.
8.  Take a trip to the tropics without leaving home.  Watch tropical movies, wear “Aloha” gear and eat summer foods.
9.  Find a paintball or lasertag course to run around in and have some active indoor fun with friends.
10.  Have a Wii/xBox sports party.
11.  Craft your way to fun–pull out all your crafting supplies, clear off the table and let everyone go nuts!
12.  Make your own video!  Let the kids take control and script, direct and shoot their very own movie.  Finish up with some special snacks and a “viewing party” at the end of the day.

So what did we choose?  Well, one of the things I feel strongly about is the kids getting enough activity in the winter.  As I said-we’ve got cold blustery weather without enough snow to actually have something to go out and play in.  So I went out to Walmart, headed back to the electronics section and blew the entire $20 on xBox Kinect Sports:

Sure, it wasn’t as cool (or as “pin”able) as a neat theme party with decorations, but to be frank I wasn’t in much of a “Martha Stewart” mood.  I wanted something that would get the kids (and me) moving and up our natural endorphins.  This game cost almost exactly $20, and includes boxing, bowling, soccer, volleyball, table tennis and track & field.  Since with the Kinect games your body is the controller (it has a special camera that “sees” your body and how you are moving) there is no way to play this game without getting your “move” on. . . as you can see Buddy most definitely did!

My kids know me–I try to limit their amount of video game time.  So since we’ve gotten this game they keep coming up to me and asking “can I play Kinect Sports” knowing full well that I’m much more likely to let them play since it’s active :)

So what do you think? What would be your favorite way to beat the winter blues?

****This is a sponsored post****
Disclosure: As a participant in the Walmart Moms Program, I’ve received product samples and compensation for my time and efforts in creating this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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  1. Trond Hildahl says

    Agree with this – we just got Wii Dance! and I’ll let the boys play MUCH longer than regular games.

    I’d suggest for the original topic and $20 limit, get a 3-pack of cards and snacks … and invite the neighbors over for a penny ante poker game, cribbage tournament, or learn to play bridge or whist.

    Cards games rock away cold winter nights.

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