(Image credit: Apartment Therapy )

While many people think February is the cruelest month, I (an Aquarius) think January is the worst. What with the start of real winter weather and the post-holiday low, the beginning of the year can mean a dip into the doldrums.

If January isn't motivating you to clean out your closets and make to-do lists, there are lots of small ways to make the long days more enjoyable. Here are just a few:

Plants: When the weather outside is, well, frightful, plants are a sure-fire way to remind you of warmer, sunnier days. The sight of a happy pothos or jade makes a nice distraction from gray, leafless trees.

Lighting: While your case might be milder, a lack of light is one of the contributing factors of seasonal affective disorder. Making sure you have adequate lighting can figuratively and neuro-chemically brighten those gray days.

A small gift to yourself: I'm not above buying myself a small Christmas present or two, and when I'm really not feeling good I like to treat myself to something like nice-smelling soaps. For about $5, they make winter showers and hand-washing that much nicer.

What's your winter pick-me-up?

Images: Flickr member Tgrab. licensed for use under Creative Commons