1. The obvious. Take a trip to the mountains.
There is nothing quite like a scenic ski trip to the Rocky Mountains. Going to ride the slopes of Arapahoe Basin, Copper Mountain or Keystone, less than an hour away from Denver, is a therapeutic way to get outside and embrace the natural beauty of Colorado. Exercise is a great way to boost serotonin and quality of life during the peak of winter and having a great view of thunderous, snowy mountains just really tops the cake.
If you do not prefer to ski or snowboard, there are many other activities to choose from as well! Whether it be walking the local shops of Breckenridge on a snowy day, or hitting up one of the many mineral water hot springs in the area, there is always a way to fully embrace Colorado winters.
2. Pick up a non-work related hobby.
Finding a hobby that can quickly develop into a passion is a great way to surpass long, snowy days. There are many benefits to finding a non-work related hobby, such as helping you to recover from a long day, getting your mind working and excited, and having a feeling of accomplishment on a special project. When trying out new hobby ideas, here are some motives for inspiration: go back to your childhood and try something you liked; choose something that will make you forget about your day; notice what you love to buy as guilty pleasures; think of something that made the time go so quickly you forgot to eat.
3. Start a book club with your friends.
There are many reasons diving into a good book and sharing it with your friends is a great pastime for your health! Being able to set aside a time and place to talk about something that is intriguing is nourishing for the soul. Here are some other benefits of book clubs: they give you a push to finish the book to the end, decrease stress, give you the opportunity to meet new friends and engage in conversation, help you to gain new perspectives, better your vocabulary and writing skills, and strengthen your imagination and creativity levels. To add to this goal, encourage new friends to join your book club and create sub-activities that you guys can do. This is a great introduction to meeting new people and finding similar-minded people.
4. Become a plant mom or dad
Tending to an indoor plant is good for the mind, body and soul. Studies show that plants are great for boosting mood, productivity, concentration and creativity; reducing stress, fatigue, sore throats and colds; cleaning indoor air by absorbing toxins; increasing humidity and producing oxygen; adding life to a sterile office; giving privacy; and reducing noise levels – all of which are therapeutic and cheaper than a therapist. The practice of taking care of a plant and watching it grow is priceless.
5. Make homemade and sustainable gifts for your friends and family for the holidays.
Feeling the need to give back to the environment? You should be! A great way to spread the sustainable holiday spirit is by creating waste-free presents for your friends and family. There are many options for sustainable holidays gifts that have surfaced this year. For extra spice, you can make sure your wrapping paper is a reused material and top it off with drying out your favorite fruits for Christmas ornaments. Leading by example is the only way to combat our current climate crisis, and these options ALSO spread the holiday cheer!
6. Volunteer your time to Denver Rescue Mission for a day.
The Denver Rescue Mission is a prominent non-profit organization in Denver fighting to feed and provide help for the “most vulnerable of the community” through emergency services, rehabilitation, transitional programs, and community outreach. There are numerous ways to get involved especially during the holiday season – in different elements, such as serving meals, internship programs, working with change-makers, and more.
7. Practice gratitude.
During a time of seasonal depression, studies show that giving thanks and practicing gratitude can lift a person’s spirits. From Harvard Health, “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
Taking the time to express your gratitude for the people in your life can not only boost your mood, but also brighten the person’s day receiving your handwritten words. Take the time to express your love for the people in your life… it is a domino effect.
8. Set a goal relating to your health and strive to accomplish it.
We all know the hardest time of year to stay on top of your health is the holidays. Set a goal for yourself, maybe even keep that goal to yourself, and prove that you can accomplish a healthy task for your own sake. Whether it is going for a walk every day, subscribe to the gym, or changing your eating habits, do it for yourself this holiday season.
9. Visit Denver’s 25-foot Christmas tree downtown with a synchronized light show.
Looking for a free and captivating experience to take a date or some friends? Go check out the festivities at Denver’s newest holiday attraction, the Mile High Tree. It is a brilliantly lit, 110-foot tall immersive art installation that provides dazzling lights and music shows every 15 minutes throughout the evening. At 39-feet in diameter, the conical structure can host up to 140 guests at a time for an immersive viewing experience within the tree itself. Both non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks will be available for this mesmerizing experience right downtown.
10. Plan an adventure with your best friend for the summer.
There is no better way to get rid of the holiday blues than by planning a summer adventure. This is a great way to take your mind off your daily life too, and indulge in planning the details for an escape outside of reality. Try to collaborate with a friend for this adventure, so you two have something to look forward to and be excited about. There is something special about sharing an adventure with a close friend and going somewhere new in the world.
11. Go ice skating in Evergreen surrounding by lush mountain surroundings.
Evergreen Lake is the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor ice rink in North America with 8.5 acres of groomed ice. It offers both day and night skating, with different hours depending on the day. Enjoy some leisure laps around this giant lake or bring your stick & puck for some hockey. Evergreen Park includes a forty-acre lake, one-acre park with picnic tables, wetlands, observation boardwalk, and a 1.3 mile-long trail loop to fully envelope the senses and get your body moving.
12. Redefine your workspace.
The daily workspace we occupy can truly affect the way we feel and behave. There are different elements to redefining your workspace that can help to clear your head at work or generate a more positive mindset throughout your workday. The main concepts are clearing out clutter, adding splashes of color, and personalization. Here are some color types and how they can affect people:
- – Blue creates a relaxed mood and encourages concentration, stimulating workers to perform at a higher level.
- – Green makes people feel refreshed and symbolizes nature, evoking a sense of calm.
- – White is popular because it is light and neutral, appears more spacious, and encourages an optimistic mood.
- – Red is the most emotionally intense color that stimulates a faster heartbeat. While it increases energy and has motivational qualities, only splashes of red are recommended for the workplace.
Yellow is the most cheerful color of all and induces feelings of happiness and boosts morale; however, too much can be too bright for the eye to take in.
13. Explore and discover new music throughout the beloved Denver music scene.
Denver is known for its robust and bountiful music scene, and live music is proven to increase life happiness. Go out and explore new music, make new friends, and support local artists. Every night there is an opportunity for a new adventure at some of Denver’s historic venues, so go make one of these nights your adventure this holiday season.