This time of year, it's easy to find yourself in a bit of a funk. With the weather being cold, the sunlight at a minimum, and the holidays behind us, it's not uncommon to feel a little gloomy. Fortunately, St. Charles, IL offers plenty of ways that you can fight the winter blues and help lift your mood. Here are some top-notch ways that you can add a little cheer into your life this season.
A good way to shake off feeling low-spirited this season is to get up and go exercise. If you haven't already, try joining a gym or a yoga studio. St. Charles has many different venues that offer fitness classes, such as Cyclebar or Fitness on the Fox. Joining a gym that has classes is a perfect way to stay motivated, as you'll have others around you offering encouragement during your workouts. Practicing yoga is another wonderful way to stay active, and there are many studios to attend in the area including Bent Dog Yoga + Pilates or the brand-new Flower of Life Yoga & Wellness Center. You'll be amazed just how far having a regular fitness routine can go with improving your overall health.
Grab a Sweet Treat
While focusing on your health is extremely important, it is also critical to make sure that you treat yourself here and there. Sometimes adding a little sweetness to your day is all you need to get some pep in your step and make yourself feel better. Start your day off with a delectable gluten-free donut from Brown Butter Baked Goods, or a Japanese/American mochi donut from Mochinut. Looking for a sweet treat to bring home? Swing by Kilwins for their signature Mackinac Island Fudge, or by Rocket Fizz to browse their enormous selection of candy and sodas.
Try a New Look
Freshening up your style can make a big impact in improving your mood. Getting a new outfit, or simply adding a new accessory to your wardrobe often makes you feel like a brand new person. Browse the racks at Jeans and a Cute Top Shop to find that new piece to spice up your wardrobe, or stop by Double Take Consignment to shop for that unique article clothing that will help make your outfit incredible. After you're finished revamping your attire, try out a new hairstyle at HM Hair Bar, or M.E.N.S. Esquire Barbershop. A fresh, new haircut is an excellent way to feel rejuvenated.
Dive Into a Book
Transport far away from the cold and blustery weather, and dive into a fantastic novel. Townhouse Books has a wide assortment of literature for you to get lost in, and their experienced staff can help you find that story that you just can't put down. Don't know exactly what you're looking for? Townhouse Books has curated lists of books that their staff have put together that makes for a great resource to find recommendations. If you have a library card, swing by the St. Charles Public Library to find tons of books and other media that you can check out for free. You can even enjoy that new book you just chose and read it there, as they have plenty of couches and chairs that you can cozy up in and enjoy that new read.
Book a Staycation
A new change of scenery is sometimes all you need to break out of that winter slump, and fortunately, it doesn't take traveling far to do so. Take a staycation right here in St. Charles by booking a room at the historic Hotel Baker. Enjoy all the amenities they offer, and dine out at the ROX City Grill for a fantastic meal, and to catch the sounds of some live music that they frequently have. While staying downtown, try living like a tourist! Explore all the shops, dining options, and attractions that St. Charles has to offer. For ideas, look through our destination guide. This is an ideal opportunity to check some things off your list that you've been meaning to do, and experience the joys of taking a vacation without having to stray too far.
Soak Up Sunlight
Put down all your screens, lace up your shoes, and head outside. Getting sunlight and fresh air is extremely beneficial to your mental health, and St. Charles is filled with parks, trails, and forest preserves to explore. Spend an afternoon at LeRoy Oakes Forest Preserve, where you'll find an array of natural features, or stroll down the boardwalk and watch the birds at Ferson Creek Forest Preserve. If the weather is cool enough, go ice skating at Davis Park or Lincoln Park. To view if the ice rinks are open or closed, please click here. If it's too warm and there isn't any ice, bundle up and take a bike ride down the Fox River Trail to take-in all the beautiful nature around us. These are just a few of the many ways that you can get outside and get moving.
Pick Up a New Hobby
Finding a new, indoor hobby is the perfect way to get your mind off the dreary months, and will give you something to continually look forward to doing. Put on your dancing shoes and take a class at one of the dance studios in St. Charles, such as Fred Astaire Dance Studio or Lux Dance Studio. If you're a beer fanatic, and have been thinking about making your own craft brews, you're in luck! Broken Brix Homebrew Shop is located right downtown, and they offer everything you need to start brewing right in the comfort of you're own home.
Dine at a New Restaurant
St. Charles is home to an unbelievable culinary scene, so this winter, make it a point to dine out more often! Do something a little different and eat out during the weekday. Occasionally doing this will break up your same routine and add some fun to your week! Indulge at Whiskey Bend downtown, as they are brand new to St. Charles and offer exceptional food like their braised short rib grilled cheese, or their Swanee's fried risotto cakes, all inside a building that is filled with history. Make sure to mark your calendars for St. Charles Restaurant Week, which takes place from February 20th - February 24th, as you'll receive 15% off your bill of $20 or more at participating restaurants (exclusions apply). This is a great chance to try out that restaurant you've been dying to eat at.
Enjoy Some Entertainment
Finding ways to get out of the house and find entertainment to enjoy is especially important during these colder months. Go catch that funny, new movie at Charlestowne 18 and have a good laugh, which can do wonders for your mood. Listening to upbeat, live music can also be extremely beneficial to your emotions, and there are plenty of spots where you can listen to some terrific performances, such as Pollyanna Brewing Co. or at the Club Arcada. To view the list of weekly live music taking place in St. Charles, please click here.
Relax at a Spa
Going to the spa can have many benefits like reducing stress, easing aches and pains, and even promoting better sleep. Plan a day where you can relax and check out one of the spas in town including Larimar MedSpa or Venice MedSpa. Want to create your own spa experience right at home? Stop by Magnolia Soap and Bath Co. or MION Artisan Soap to pick up some bath bombs, scrubs, and soaps, all made with the highest quality ingredients. Need something to sip on while you unwind? Pick up a bottle of wine from The Wine Exchange on your way home to help you stay soothed.
Looking to find other ways that you can elevate your mood this winter season? Download the Travel St. Charles app to find more activities to take part in throughout this city, and be sure to read up on our new dining guide to find that new spot to devour some delicious food.