When the holidays are over and spring is nowhere in sight, it’s easy to feel bored and antsy. January can seem twice as long if you are cooped up indoors. Alleviating the doldrums can be as simple as keeping busy with fun activities and adding events to your calendar.

Get Out and About

Looking forward to events on your calendar will brighten dark January days—and nights.

  • Plan family days out to museums on weekends.
  • Plan a small party.
  • Schedule weekly coffees or lunches with friends.
  • Go to the movies.
  • Find an indoor mini golf place for an afternoon with the kids.
  • Try a new restaurant.
  • Find an aquarium or science center you’ve never been to before, even if it’s a few hours drive away.
  • Love winter sports? Make sure to have a ski or snowboard weekend on your to-do list!
  • Live near a city? Escape for a day or an overnighter with the family or a friend. There’s nothing like exploring a new city or revisiting a favorite one.
  • Visit an indoor waterpark. You’ll get that tropical escape feeling even if you can’t plan a vacation to the tropics.
  • If you can swing a real vacation, January is the perfect time to head south as it breaks up the long winter.

Pamper Yourself

Now is the time for long, leisurely, Epsom salt baths. They are fabulous for aching, tired muscles and will leave you feeling calm and refreshed. January is also a great month for a trip to the local salon or spa. Have you been to a salt cave? Find out if there is one near you.

Face masks, pedicures, and a good movie makes a fabulous girls night in. Invite friends, your mom, your sister, or daughter. Better still, invite them all!

Adopt a Pet

Considering a new addition to the family? There’s nothing like the joy a pet can provide. A rescue dog or cat will keep you and your kids busy, and add love, responsibility, and fun for all. And you’ll have provided an abandoned animal with a permanent, loving home.

I know some of these ideas cost money, so if the holidays left you tight on cash, there are other options. Check your local library for free classes, museum passes, and free family shows. Some museums offer weekly free or reduced-price days. Many great deals can be found on Groupon. A spa night or get together at home can be inexpensive if everyone pitches in. Movie matinees are cheaper than night movies.

What is your favorite way to beat the winter blues?