January is the perfect time to transform the winter blues into a warm kaleidoscope of brighter thoughts, feelings, and activities. Here are seven ways to greet the new year with positivity and a lighthearted attitude:

Set the mood

Make your space bright by opening drapes to the winter sun. Simmer a pot of dried citrus on the stove and put on music that reminds you of summer—Beach Boys anyone? Or, take the opposite tactic and embrace winter’s coziness by practising a little Nordic hygge, decorating with woolly blankets and candles.


Keeping your body moving in any way you can—and doing it with others—is a healthy way to beat the blues. Many retirement residences have indoor walking clubs, as do local malls. Practice chair yoga, or dance around your living room for a few minutes.

Look forward

Looking forward to something always makes us feel good*—remember how you felt as a child before the holidays? Book a facial or a pedicure and think about how good you’ll feel once you’re there. Write your upcoming “anticipation” dates on a large calendar to remind yourself of future fun.

Take joy in gratitude

People who are grateful tend to be happier, no matter what the season. Winter is a great time to sit by a sunny window and spend a few minutes thinking about what you are thankful for. Read a favourite poem or inspirational quote and feel a moment of peace and contentment.

Connect with others

Talking and being with other people is a sure way to lift your mood. From a chance encounter at the grocery store to enjoying a coffee with a friend, staying social feeds the heart and soul, especially when winter weather can lead to isolation and loneliness.

Go green

Invest in new house plants for an immediate mood boost. Now is the time to try some trendy succulents or think about a hydroponic vegetable/flower box. The newest indoor kits provide everything you need for year-round herbs, veggies, or lush plants.

Treat yourself

Plan an afternoon where you are the star. Buy some good chocolate, a new book or magazine, or order in a favourite meal. Invite someone to make your event even more special.

Start off the new year by taking the first steps to an independent, active life in a welcoming, supportive and safe community. Contact Chartwell Retirement Residences today at 1-855-461-0685 to arrange a no-obligation tour of a retirement residence near you, or visit chartwell.com

*The following source provided a reference for this blog.
  1. Frontiers in Psychology. “Well-being and Anticipation for Future Positive Events: Evidences from an fMRI Study.” (2018)