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Mental health | 10 inspiring places to hangout this winter

by Penina

If you get a little depressed in winter, here’s my big list of places you can hang out during winter to put any low mood at bay. Enjoy some time at the library, visit an art gallery or jump online to find some inspiration. There’s a place to suit any budget on this list of things to do in the colder months.

1. The Library

When I think about libraries, I think about all the smart lives sitting on shelves. Authors put their life’s work and wisdom into a book. It’s hard to consider walking out of library without feeling inspired.
Action: Commit to fitting a visit into your library every week. Mark it in the calendar.

2. A Café

Cafes are big business these days and provide ‘experiences’ for their customers, rather than just coffee. Businesses put a lot of time and effort into making people feel happy when they enter a cafe. Find a local cafe in your area, which suits your needs. If you’re a mum, for example, find one with a play area for children. Recently I went to my local mall and found that they have completely revamped it. They had put in tables with attached digital cubicles for children! I was very impressed. This way, you can enjoy a coffee, while your child is happily engaged.
Action: Visit your favourite café this Saturday morning with a newspaper in hand. Relax a little.

3. Art Galleries

One of my favourite places to visit during winter is my local art gallery. It doesn’t cost anything to go into the art gallery and I always come out feeling totally inspired. Art is a wonderful way to keep your mind feeling creative and motivated. In fact, most galleries have cafes attached, so you can also enjoy a really nice coffee while you’re there. My favourite local gallery (Manyung) has a beautiful garden area, where I meet up with friends for coffee and a chat.
Action: Mark a date in your calendar to visit an art gallery this winter.

4. Museums and Zoos

If you live near a major museum or a zoo, it might be a good idea to purchase their annual pass so that you can visit frequently with your children or with a friend. Museums are amazing places for learning and gaining knowledge about the world. They are filled with incredible stories and ideas from the past and for the future. Similarly, animals are relaxing to watch and hang around. For this reason, visiting the Zoo in Melbourne, is on my list as an inspirational place to visit in winter. Put your nearest museum or zoo on your bucket list this year for an inspirational place to visit during the more depressing winter season.
Action: Mark date and time to visit a zoo or museum this winter.

5. Bookshops

Bookshops, like libraries, are also very inspirational places to visit. Bookstores offer the added bonus, that if you find a book for a reasonable price you can buy the book, take it home and keep it forever. I’ve always believed that books have the power to change lives. Any book I have ever read has changed my life in some little way – even if it was only one sentence in that book. Think of a book like living an entire other life in a weekend. Books are a brilliant way to learn new stuff and capture an Author’s entire life knowledge in a short period of time. There are plenty of budget bookshops around, which offer books on sale for as little as $3 – $5.
Action: Find the best local bookstore in your area and visit it. Book it in for this weekend.

6. Nature Walks

You can still access nature in winter even if it’s cold. All this takes is a little bit of preparedness. Consider purchasing some high quality wet weather gear and head out into the cold for some beautiful time in nature. Take a nice walk along a boardwalk or beach, or spend some time at sculpture gardens or other great walks in your area. Note: Be safe: Always walk with a friend in remote areas.
Action: Visit your local council website and find a great nature walk for this weekend. Book it into your calendar for this Sunday morning.

7. Designer Furniture Stores

When I need a little inspiration I head to local designer furniture stores. One of my favourite stores is IKEA. Because I’m living in a renovation project, days can get pretty depressing, staring at all the unfinished walls! Places like Ikea offer a bright and happy experience for gaining inspiration and gathering ideas. As ‘retail experiences’ they also offer affordable lunch and coffee options. Consider other places like Myer, Target and Kmart – all of which offer unique places to visit for consumers. If you live in the city, there are also plenty of amazing furniture furniture shops, which are also galleries and cafes. You may have seen such stores on shows like The Block. Take a look and keep the inspiration flowing daily.
Action: If you are a stay-at-home mum, book a visit to one of your favourite home décor stores this week. Otherwise, visit one in the coming weeks.

8. Recreation Centres

For the small price of five to seven dollars you can visit the local recreation centre and enjoy a cheap ‘day spa’. For example, you can sit in the steam room, sauna or the spa. Don’t pay bigger prices for the same pleasure somewhere else. You can do this on the cheap and still enjoy the same experience.
Action: Break up the week by visiting your local recreation centre on the way back from school pickup or after work. Try Wednesday night. Doing something on a weeknight evening makes the week go faster!

9. Grand and Historic Buildings

Grand and historic buildings, like old churches, are also amazing places of inspiration. Whether you are religious or not, these buildings are incredible to look at and spend time in. With high ceilings and amazing architecture, there is no way that you can enter and leave a beautiful architecturally designed historic building without feeling a little inspired.
Action: Look online for an awesome local attraction. Book it into your calendar to visit one a month from now.

10. Movie theaters

My local movie theatre is a luxury item, but also one of my favourite places to hang out. I don’t get to go much because of the price, but as a treat I use my savings I make from all my penny-pinching, to catch a movie every now and then. The reason I love going to the movies, is that I get a whole lot of space for the price! I also find inspiration in watching the movie itself. While watching movies – I always think up news ideas and feel totally refreshed.
Action: Find a great movie you’d like to see. Book a time to see it in your calendar.

11. The great outdoors

Don’t underestimate the power of exercising in the great outdoors during winter to keep a healthy mind and body. I always undertake a winter boot camp. This keeps my mental health in peak condition during the winter seasons. Also, exercise is easier in winter as opposed to doing the same in the heat of summer. Invest in great wet weather gear for your run or walk and you will enjoy the experience more. Add a great playlist on your phone, headphones and even your dog, and you will have the recipe for an incredibly inspiring and motivating our half hour!
Action: Do this every second day or whenever you get the chance. Feel more amazing.

12. Online inspiration

One of my favourite places to go online for inspiration is Pinterest. Simply type into the search ‘inspiration’ and you will feel instantly inspired by the beautiful quotes and pictures listed by people the world over. Consider printing off some of the quotes and pictures and pinning them on a physical wall at home. Of course, there’s always the Savings Room! I’m focused on blogging inspiring stories daily – so visit regularly for more inspiration.
Action: Visit Pinterest or the Savings Room daily for instant inspiration!

Got great ideas for staying inspired in winter? Post them in comments below.,..

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