How to add some sparkle to the dreary months

Nicole at Apple Tree Resources
How to add some sparkle to the dreary months

If you struggle with the winter months the way that I do, this episode is for you! In this episode, I share ideas for taking control of the dreary months both at home and at school so no matter where you are, you can add some sparkle. Tune in to learn more! 


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Hey there educators! It's Nicole Sanders. Welcome back to another episode of Let's Chat Teaching, the podcast where I share tips for teaching in the grades five to eight classroom as well as other fun teaching and life tips. I'm thrilled to have you join me today as we tackle a topic close to my heart – how to infuse some much-needed sparkle into the grey and dreary months that have a tendency to drag us down.

Now, if you're tuning in early January of 2024, then you know exactly what I'm talking about. The holiday glow has faded, and we find ourselves in the midst of winter's chilly embrace. Now, for my fellow Canadians and friends around the globe, you understand the struggle – the days are short, the nights are long, and the grey skies seem endless. It's a challenging time, especially for those of us who, like me, feel the weight of the winter blues.

I've always been honest about my battle with the grey. It's not just a matter of mood; it can escalate into a seasonal slump if not managed properly. And guess what? I'm not alone. Many teachers out there are warriors in the fight against the gloom, and that's why I'm so excited to share some tried-and-true methods to add that much-needed sparkle to our lives during these trying months.

First things first, let's address the lack of sunshine. Vitamin D, my friends! I've been doubling up on vitamin D supplements during these months, and it's made a world of difference. A quick disclaimer – I'm no doctor, but this tip has been a game-changer for me. Also, have you ever heard of sun lamps? These nifty devices sit on your desk and mimic natural sunlight. I've had mine for eight years, and trust me, it's worth every penny. It's like a little burst of sunshine to keep those winter blues at bay.


This is my sunlamp that I use and have had for many years. It really helps.

Now, I'm about to drop a controversial bomb, so brace yourselves. During January, February, and part of March, I make a pitstop at a sun tanning salon twice a week for a quick session. I know, I know, but hear me out. It's not about getting a tan; it's about the mood-boosting effects. If this isn't your cup of tea, no judgment here – we all have our ways of finding that sparkle.

But let's not forget the power of anticipation. Remember looking forward to Christmas, then counting down to spring break? As adults, we need those little milestones too. That's why I suggest organizing a weekly staff treat day. It's simple – each week, a different group brings in treats for everyone. It's a delightful way to break up the monotony and foster a sense of community among the staff.

And here's a gem – start a mini book club with friends or colleagues. Three months, three books – it's a fantastic excuse to indulge in some good reads and connect with others. Plus, it's a built-in reason to get together once a month and share some laughs.

Now, let's talk about library club – a euphemism for teachers gathering at a local pub. Schedule it once or twice a month, and watch the stress melt away. It's a casual way to unwind, share stories, and remind ourselves that we're all in this together.

And for my fellow food enthusiasts, treat yourself to a specialty drink once a week. It could be coffee, tea, or whatever tickles your taste buds. It's a small indulgence that adds a touch of joy to your routine.

Last but certainly not least, prioritize your physical health. I've signed up for a yoga class starting in January, and it's already something I look forward to. Even if it's just once a week, find a fitness class that suits you. It's not just about staying active; it's about boosting those endorphins and giving yourself a mental health lift.

So, my fabulous educators, let's make a pact to not just survive these months but to thrive. Sprinkle that sparkle, embrace those little joys, and let's show up for ourselves and our students with the energy and positivity we all deserve.

As always, I'd love to hear your sparkle strategies. Reach out to me on Instagram @AppleTreeResources and share how you're brightening up these dark months. Until next time, keep shining, keep sparkling, and let's tackle this winter together. Until next time!

If you'd like five free activities to use with any story, then you can head over to to grab them today.


Have a wonderful week, 






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