As the days grow cooler and darker, I get nervous about winter blues. So this fall, I’ve been brainstorming ways to make the season feel brighter and cheerier…

* host articles clubs and cookie swaps

* watch all the Best Picture movies of the past fifty years

* cook our way through a favorite cookbook

* invite friends over for board games, like Settlers of Catan

* string white fairy lights all over the apartment

Also, this sounds crazy, but one way to cheer up dreary days is to use a sun lamp. Have you ever tried it? Alex had one when we first moved in together, and at first I dismissed it as new-age-y and strange. But then I tried it (you just turn it on for about 15 minutes in the morning) and was shocked by how my mood just lightened. You can actually feel yourself getting cheerier. Apparently the lamp mimics sunlight, so it gives you that natural boost on dark days. Now it sits on my desk all year!

What do you do to help ensure a happy winter? I’d love to hear your tips. xo

(Photo by The Sartorialist)