The Dark Days of Winter: A Survival Guide for Twenty-Somethings

How depressing is it when the hype of the holiday season finally dies down? Christmas trees come down, gifts don’t come back until your birthday, and drinking Champagne straight out of the bottle is not longer deemed acceptable. Not only does it continue to get colder, but our bank accounts are barer than ever (unless, of course, you’re Scrooge), the days seem to drag on, it STILL gets dark way too early, and there are NO good holidays until St. Patrick’s Day (and we usually don’t get a day off for that…gross).

We know the feelings are mutual here, this time of the year is probably the worst time EVER. How do we get through it like the amazing twenty-somethings that we are? Take a deep breath and follow these guidelines and we guarantee that your off season will only get better.

  • Keeping up with friends is a MUST. During a time that focuses mainly on family and/or significant others, the friend time can sometimes get thrown to the wayside. Now that you’ve endeared the fake smiles and embraces with the family members you wish you never had to see, spend time with the people you don’t mind being around. Not only will you catch up on lost time, a low-key night with a BFF will be a sure fire mood booster during these dreary winter days.
  • Find fun things to do for almost nothing. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, there are definitely places you can take your BFF entourage that won’t cost you a pretty penny. Since this is the time of the year we’d all rather stay inside and wallow in our poor-person-sorrows, why not invite your friends over your place (or a mutual location) for a movie night or to make a hip new beverage? Who said we were too old to have slumber parties? Make those drinks, kick back a couple, and stay over for the night. You’ll have fun, and won’t have to worry about the freezing (and possibly slippery) drive home. If you’re more of a going out kind of gal, do some research. Many restaurants and/or bars have awesome discount nights that could make for a very price-savvy night out.
  • Don’t let the gift “braggers” bring you down. Everyone knows one of these types of people: the kind that go on and on about how their amazing Great Uncle got them the car of their dreams or some ridiculously hip (yet ugly) new designer purse. Who cares? We love to express our joy and admiration for the gifts that we received during the holidays, but who wants to sit there and listen to someone gush about something way more expensive than everything you received…combined? We know we don’t. If you have to encounter one of these people, just smile and nod and know that your gifts were probably WAY more meaningful than theirs, anyways.
  • Keep your resolutions, or don’t make any at all. During a time where everyone is dying to reinvent themselves for the better, it can be difficult to gauge what is actually realistic in the realm of resolutions. If you’re the type that loves to indulge in resolution making, be sure that your goals are within reach. Creating goals that are too out of reach will be discouraging and will only end badly. Instead, take a look at where you are now, and see what you can realistically do to change. Set time periods for yourself to attain these goals and of course, remember that nothing can change over night. Be patient. If you are motivated enough, any dream can come true. Also be sure that if you still have goals from last year, you stick with those as well, especially if they are important steps in your goals for this year. Baby steps!
  • A faux tan is OKAY…in moderation. Most people love how they look with a tan, but for most of us, the winter sun is not strong enough to ever keep up during the winter. Although we might be tempted to go tanning (AH, don’t judge me!), it’s really a terrible habit. There are multiple ways to create a healthy glow without fake-and-baking. Look into spray tan, self-tanner, and invest in a great bronzer. Summer will come back eventually, so during the time being, be safe about your faux tanning endeavors. Always remember, though, Snooki may or may not be the best look to go for, especially mid-winter.
  • TREAT YOURSELF. Our final, and most important rule for the dark days of winter is to be good to yourself. After slaving away at work to save up enough money to buy gifts for the million people on your list, it’s about time you did something for yourself. Whether it’s a simple pleasure such as buying your favorite, over-priced, trendy coffee once a week, or saving up for a personal get-away, it’s totally fine! You have to keep yourself happy before you can ever imagine getting through these tough winter months, so be sure you do this! If not, the days will seem THAT much more depressing.

What do you do to get through these gloomy months? Let us know! @20stweet.


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