Andrea Zellner is a PhD student in the Ed Psych/Ed Tech Program at Michigan State University and a permanent author at GradHacker. You can follow her on twitter at @AndreaZellner. 
I don't know about you, but when I come back to my work after the holiday break I get a serious case of the winter doldrums. Being in the throes of the Michigan winter, what I really want to do is snuggle up in some warm fleece and read murder-mysteries in between episodes of Downton Abbey. I long for the wide-eyed optimism I had going into the fall semester when everything seemed possible, but now I'm lucky if I remember what day it is, what exactly it is I have to do, and what in the world I was thinking when I was working on this draft of my dissertation proposal a few weeks ago. I've managed to pull myself away from the NPR "Are You Down with Downton Quiz " long enough to write down some ways I plan to yank myself back into the swing of things:
- Remember how to be productive: I got all excited about the idea of turning my to-do list into a QR code game from Lifehacker last week . Taking a perusal of the productivity posts of Gradhacker past  also made me remember that I wanted to try TextExpansion software  to improve my workflow as well. Thinking through novel ways to attack my projects makes me a little more excited to get started, and starting is often half the battle.
- Remember to go outside: for those of you in sunny climates this isn't much of a problem, but here we've been battling wind chills well below freezing and folks tend to stay inside. I have been adhering to the maxim that "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing," and making sure to get outside for a walk/run/snowman building session  on a regular basis.
- Remember why I am doing this: I have been really lucky to speak with prospective students to my program lately. I can't recommend this enough because it reminds me of the excitement and energy I brought into the experience and helps shift my focus off of the negative aspects of grad school. As we've written about before here on Gradhacker , being open to those discussions of what I enjoy about grad school is a great way to re-connect to what drew me to the experience in the first place.
How do you chase away the winter doldrums? Let us know in the comments below!