Give yourself a carrot.
If it’s gray, windy, or especially chilly—or if all three are out in force—motivating yourself or your family members to head out may be challenging. But once outside, you might enjoy it more than you expected.
A realistic expectation and a simple reward or treat to look forward to can help everyone get out the door. Start small—Froelich Murray often tells her kids they’re just going to go outside for 30 minutes and that they’ll stop for a cake pop on the way home. You can also pack a favorite snack or a hot drink to boost spirits while you’re out.
Even remembering how good it will feel to be inside after venturing out in inclement weather can be an incentive. “Part of getting cold is the joy of getting warm again, like curling up with a warm blanket and a cup of hot coco in front of a fire,” Jensen says.
Reinvent your space.
If you have access to a yard or porch, you’re in luck—instead of wishing it farewell until the spring, try adapting it so you can enjoy the space throughout the winter.
You can add warmth, for instance, with a fire pit or outdoor heating lamps, which are available at hardware stores. If you have the space, add weather-resistant furniture and amass a collection of warm and weather-resistant blankets, rugs, and cushions. You can also put up a tent, add a roof to a patio, or build a pergola to shield your outdoor space from some of the elements.
For more budget-friendly options, try adding a bird feeder (so you’ll always have an intriguing view out your window) or fairy lights (to brighten up dark nights) to trees or fences.