Winter can be an incredibly charming season. It brings sweaters and scarves, blue jays and cardinals, hot cocoa and Bailey’s. But this season, more than the others, seems to drag on. It also brings frostbite and dry skin, yellow snow and wind chill, cold and flu. I’ll admit that Dave and I, both coming from incredibly wintry places in their own distinct ways, have gone soft. This is our hardest winter in a few years, and it has only snowed a handful of times. We haven’t faced a winter like this in a while, and the coldest it has been is -10C/14F. But winter is winter and grey is grey and we are getting a serious case of cabin fever. And by cabin I mean Crimmitschau and by fever I mean extreme irritability.
So, in honor of our boot weary feet and Vitamin D deficient skin tones, I’ve compiled a list of possible remedies to the Winter Blues that are affecting people everywhere, regardless of proximity to the equator. Unless of course you are in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case, read this in 6 months.
1. EAT: Yes, eat. I know, you made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. Who didn’t? What’s that you say? Emotional eating is unhealthy? Bite into a chocolate bar or a piece of pizza, and then talk to me. I’m not saying to go bananas and binge on all goodies you can get your grubby mitts on, I’m simply saying to allow yourself a treat. Make a favorite meal, go to your favorite restaurant. They don’t call it ‘comfort food’ for nothing.
2. SLEEP: The days may be getting longer, but you’re probably still getting home from work after dark. The urge to nap is undeniable, but your inner adult says you left naps behind when you graduated pre-school. I say your inner adult is cranky due to a lack of sleep. You deserve a rest! It’s dark anyway! In a few months it will be summer and you’ll be running around outside barefoot until 11pm! If you still feel guilty about taking a nap, do what my dad does and ‘read the paper’ in a cozy chair with your eyes closed, head tilted back and mouth open.
3. RUN: If you followed my first two tips, you might feel a little guilty about calories and slothfulness. So get moving! Sure it’s cold out, but you can face it! Bundle up and go for a walk! Head to the gym and play some racquetball (but for the love of god, wear safety goggles). Hell, you can even run the stairs a few times in your house. Get the blood pumping, possibly to some loud pop-trash music, and I can almost guarantee some endorphins.
4. CALL ME: Seriously. Do it. Right now. Or if you don’t know me, call someone who you do know, because calling me would just result in a lot of awkwardness. Catching up with a friend or family member that keeps getting pushed down on the ‘to-do list’ will boost your spirits no matter how low the temperatures have sunken.
5. COUNT: There are only so many days until Spring arrives, this can’t go on forever. Add them up, and count them down. Having something to look forward to can be the light at the end of a dark, late-January tunnel. Right now I have a countdown until my next visitor (42 days) and my next foot massage (11 minutes). It gives me a sense of purpose!
If all else fails, take a bubble bath, don your coziest pajamas, pop in ‘Willy Wonka’ and throw back a few shots of Whiskey. Hang in there, winter warriors!