17 Ways to Cheaply Escape the February Rut

Mid-winter in the midwest. Humdrum. I am ready for a few changes at the start of the second month of the new year.

We get so caught up in our daily schedules, they become rote and we exist instead of live. How can we make small changes to improve our curiosity and mood, separate the hours, the days? Here is a starter list I created of simple, no cost or inexpensive ways we can entice more enthusiasm out of the lengthening but still cold, grey days:

  1. Drive a different route to your every day destinations.
  2. Move furniture in your house, either around one room or swap furniture from one room to another. Or buy a few new pillows, swap out your artwork or photos on display.
  3. Paint a neutral wall/room an inviting color.
  4. Cook one new recipe each week for a month.
  5. Start a jigsaw or crossword puzzle. Color.
  6. Try a new class at the gym or online exercise video.
  7. If you can, change up where you work. A different office, library, coffee shop.
  8. Clean out your closet. Donate unworn items to charity.
  9. After completing #8, find new combinations of your existing clothes to wear.
  10. Order something new at a coffee shop or restaurant.
  11. Invite over an eclectic group of friends for an evening of fun. Ask them to bring a board game, appetizer, or bottle of wine to share.
  12. Go to the movies during daylight hours. Eat popcorn for lunch or dinner, preferably with M&M’s© mixed in.
  13. Read a book from a new genre for you, free from your local library or neighbors.
  14. Dance or sing out loud! (alone or with your kids or friends, no judgement allowed)
  15. Walk or bike outside somewhere new, on a clear day. Forest preserve, a beach, a neighborhood not your own.
  16. Smile and say hi to a stranger. Better yet, start a conversation with them.
  17. Visit a local town center or city you don’t really know. Chicago has lots of free museum days in February, if you live nearby. Combine with #10 above to learn it’s flavor, literally.

Get out of the winter rut I know many of my friends and I are experiencing. Just pick one item on this list and do it! Feel free to comment with other ideas you think would be fun to try.



2 thoughts on “17 Ways to Cheaply Escape the February Rut

  1. For the last several years I’ve hosted a party called “Wine and Cheese to make February Suck less” and it really helps! Everyone comes and brings a bottle of wine or an interesting cheese and it is a nice break in the midst of an otherwise gloomy month.

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