MSS #052: Rekindling Winter Warmth: Detailed Steps for Post-Holiday Motivation & Simple Joys for Happiness

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MSS #052: Rekindling Winter Warmth: Detailed Steps for Post Holiday Motivation & Simple Joys for Happiness

06 Jan 24

MSS #052: Rekindling Winter Warmth: Detailed Steps for Post-Holiday Motivation & Simple Joys for Happiness

06 Jan, 2024

Read time: 2.5 minutes

Short on time? Skim 'Cost Free Happiness Activities' – reduced read time 1.0 minute.

Welcome to another enlightening edition of Saturday Solace! This week, we're diving deeper into practical steps to shake off the winter blues and explore cost-free activities that bring happiness.

Unpacking the Winter Doldrums

It’s colder, darker for longer, the fun and festivities of the holiday season are behind us. (if you are in the southern hemisphere ignore the comments about the temperature falling and dark nights!)

You might have some time off. The routine is all messed up. You have more time on your mind to think.

It can be a tricky time.

This newsletter gives you some ideas to get back to or start feeling a bit more motivated.

Consider this…

First – stop being hard on yourself, simply accept this is part of the annual cycle.

Second – if you find some opportunities to do a few things you have wanted to do for a while, great.

Third – give yourself the option to rest a bit and recharge.

Fourth – just take one or two of the ideas from this newsletter, to simply start the process of moving forwards.

In summary, consider this….

1. The Challenge: Understanding the post-holiday slump and its impact on our energy and motivation.

2. Embracing Change: Accepting this phase as a normal cycle of life.

3. Taking Control: Realising we have the power to shift our mindset and actions.

Now let’s go a bit deeper.


Detailed Strategies for Rebuilding Motivation

1. Small Goals, Big Impact: Break down tasks into micro-goals. For instance, if cleaning your room seems overwhelming, start with just one corner. Celebrate each small victory. It’s all about starting and taking some action, however small.

2. Embrace the Light: Make the most of daylight by positioning your workspace near a window. Alternatively, a morning walk can invigorate you with natural light. I have started using an approved daylight lamp as I wake up, really effective.

3. Nature’s Call: Plan a daily 10-minute walk in your nearest park or garden. The fresh air and natural surroundings are instant mood lifters.

4. Selective Socialising: Organise a weekly call with an uplifting friend. Even a short conversation can make a big difference. Make sure you socialise with positive people that nourish you, avoid the vampires that moan and groan and take you down an unpleasant path. If you know them well enough and it’s appropriate enjoy a hug - this releases Serotonin lifting your mood. Science shows ideal hug duration is 7 - 10 seconds - again if appropriate and you know them well.

5. Mindfulness Moments: Start with a 5-minute meditation session each morning. Use free apps or YouTube for guided sessions. I love it when I do meditate but find it tricky to do. If that’s you, try for simply sitting somewhere quiet and safe and daydream about something pleasant and fun. Can be something real or imagined.


Cost-Free Happiness Activities

So much of what makes us truly happy is free. Things like retail therapy give us a short Dopamine hit with a sharper decline after the effect wears off.

Natural free happy acts, having a more lasting effect.

1. Gratitude Journaling: Spend a few minutes each evening writing down three things you're grateful for. This can shift focus from what's missing to what's present. Start simple with one thing, getting the habit embedded is the aim at the beginning.

2. Creative Expression: Try drawing, writing, or even singing. Creative activities release endorphins, boosting your mood. There is a lot of science now showing how simple doodling (which I did a lot as a child and at Uni) is highly beneficial, maybe give this a try.

3. Decluttering as Therapy: Organising your space can bring a sense of order and accomplishment. Once we declutter, our minds are less distracted, so you get this benefit as well as a sense of achievement.

4. Digital Detox: Allocate an hour each day away from screens. Read a book, take a walk, or simply daydream. This can be a bit tricky but pays dividends. I know charge my phone downstairs overnight, away from my bed. This way I avoid using my phone just before sleep and first thing in the morning, makes a big difference.

5. Laughter is Medicine: Watch a funny video or recall a humorous memory. Laughter reduces stress hormones and increases endorphins.

6. Gratitude jar: Grab a clear jar or vase. Every weekend, at the same time reflect on any achievements, progress made, happy experiences or anything you are grateful for. Write them down on post-it notes or scrap of paper. Maybe do this as a family. Stuff it into the jar. At the end of this year take all the notes out and rejoice in how much great stuff has happened this year.

Clear gratitude jar - wide enough neck that you can get the notes back out of!

Quick Joy Boosters

Here are a few more things that are easily accessible.

1. Dance to your favourite song.

2. Call a loved one for a quick chat.

3. Hug a pet or a loved one.

4. Sit quietly and savour a cup of tea / coffee.

5. Look at old, happy photos.

 At a chemical level, all these simple acts release neurotransmitters chemicals that support our happiness in a very natural way.


This winter let’s focus on small steps for big changes in motivation and embrace simple joys for daily happiness.

Final Thought: "In the heart of winter, find your inner summer." - Matt Sturgess



Overcoming the post-holiday blues is about understanding the slump and actively engaging in small, manageable activities that boost motivation and happiness.


See you next week. If you haven't already, follow me on LinkedIn and hit the bell for daily posts on tips, insights and techniques.

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That's it for this week. Thanks for reading, really hope this helped. Contact me if you think I can help you further at [email protected].

Happy thinking.