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Reasons to Be Happy Even Though It's Dark and Cold and the Holidays Are Over

Reasons to Be Happy Even Though It's Dark and Cold and the Holidays Are Over

Oh, January. They might as well call it Bloated-tired-and-grouchy...uary. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Even though there are several weeks (or months, if you live in the Midwest) of winter left, you can make the month better by taking post-solstice solace in these facts.

1. You are not contractually obligated to see your family for at least 11 months. While you might have to see your actual parents, you can rest easy that Uncle “Racist Jokes Are Funny Because They’re True” McPukeFace is off your schedule until at least Thanksgiving 2012.

2. Lots of things go on sale. Pick your poison: everything from gym memberships to cashmere sweaters to online dating services go on sale this month, so you can fulfill your resolution to work out / buy expensive clothes / meet local weirdos. And you’re ready, with a slew of useful and not-so-useful gift cards in hand.

3. The days are actually getting longer. The winter solstice was December 21, marking the shortest day of the year. Within a few weeks, it might actually be light out when you wake up.

4. Your friends have no plans. January is a great time to catch up with friends. Everyone hibernates after the holidays, so your friends have fewer weekend obligations and restaurants aren’t as busy. One of my favorite traditions is a “Civil Rights Brunch” on Martin Luther King, Jr. day, celebrating civil rights and a school-free day in the middle of January. MLK had a dream, and I had a red velvet waffle.

Alternatively, you can have a “Holiday Superlative Party,” where your friends compete for “worst gift received” or “most awkward interaction with a family member” or “highest number of ex-boyfriend/girlfriend sightings at the hometown grocery store.”

5. New beginnings, new reasons to brush your hair. For you college Sparklers, January marks the start of a new semester, so you have different classes, teachers, and most importantly, classmates. Embark on a personal mission to sit next to the cutest person in each class, just to make the semester more interesting. If anything, it will inspire you to put on jeans instead of sweatpants, something we all need.

6. There is a lot of really good/bad television on. January marks the premiere of shows such as The Bachelor, Celebrity Wife Swap, American Idol, and The Biggest Loser, as well as the return of my personal favorite, Revenge, and others like Grey’s Anatomy. Cozy up with your DVR and make a night of it with friends. Even if you don’t like Idol, you can enjoy making fun of your friend who tears up at the sad background stories.

7. Spring break is around the corner. Suddenly January seems a lot better when you realize you’re 10 weeks away from sun and freedom. Even if you don’t have any money, you can plan a cheap spring break trip. Start mapping out a road trip, or look into your school’s service trips—you might just get to go somewhere for free, in exchange for manual labor. Having something to look forward to makes even the greyest January day a little more colorful.

8.  You have so much time to relax. Who needs friends when you have new video games, books, and slippers? January is a great time to catch up on sleep and break in your (or your roommate’s) new Kinect.

What do you do to stay positive in the middle of winter?

Related post: When Life Gives You Lemons, Do You Throw Them in Life's Face?

Topics: Life
Tags: holidays, weather, christmas, winter, optimism

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About the Author
Valerie Burn

Valerie Burn is a very cool Midwestern lady. She has lived in tons of exciting places, such as Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. She spends her free time snuggling her beautiful, perfect dog Teddy, and reading the entire internet every day. Valerie enjoys eating things, buying things, and writing things, as well as watching terrible TV.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.