Boost Your Mood Instantly! 7 Great Summer Fake Outs

Sahar Aker

This week's time change and the short days it brings remind us that the cold, dark days of winter are looming. You could let it get the best of you, but instead, why not take matters into your own hands and turn that winter blues frown upside-down?

How, you ask? Besides the conventional ways of fighting your dark moods with things like light therapy and more exercise, this year it's time to grab Old Man Winter by the icicles and melt them down. Goodbye winter. Hello pretend summer. Here's how to enjoy the things that make you feel happy and warm during those beloved months even in the thick of gloom.

Get a spray tan. Who says you can only look sun-kissed in the summer? A spray tan can make you look like you just got back from a tropical vacation. And it might help you feel that way, too.

Have an indoor barbecue. Grill some burgers or fish, or get out the skewers and make some kebabs. Indoor grills can give you that barbecue feeling any time of year.

Throw a beach-themed party. Crank up your heater, get out your sunglasses, and serve up Pina Coladas, margaritas, and milk shakes. Tell your friends to bring beach towels and spread them on your furniture or floor to make your house colorful and festive. Play your favorite summer music like Katy Perry's "California Gurls" or something from The Beach Boys.

Get a pedicure. Okay, sure, your toes haven't seen daylight for weeks, but that's no reason to have them looking that way. Put some brightly colored nail polish on those babies and you'll be smiling in no time.

Listen to the ocean. Nothing says summer like the sound of waves crashing. A weekend getaway to the beach would be nice. But if you can't do that, buy yourself an audio CD filled with sounds from the seashore and listen to it whenever you need to escape your winter doldrums. Light a coconut-scented candle to enhance the experience.

Plant some indoor flowers. The trees and grass may be dead and brown outdoors but you can have flowers blooming indoors. Try growing winter flowering houseplants like African Violets, Begonias, or Christmas cactus.

Watch a summer-themed movie. If the video on your TV screen is warm and sunny, maybe some of it will rub off on you. Vacation, Jaws, or The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants are a few flicks that will bring back the sights and sounds of summer.

What are some summer activities you might try to enjoy this winter?


Image via neloqua/Flickr

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