Well, the time has officially come. Winter is here. And I mean really here. Like… swerve into the turning lane, wheels spinning, brakes skidding to escape death by VW Passat here. I just spent some time outside shoveling the driveway (while hubs was inside making dinner, screw gender roles!) and that all too familiar feeling came over me. Winter Blues. Woe is me during the winter.
I’m not sure what it is about winter, but I know some of you must feel it too. In my mind, winter is pretty and magical, and all fireplaces and hot cocoa. In real life though, snow is pretty until you have to go to work in it. The magic is over after Christmas. Running the fireplace is expensive. And… I really don’t like to drink my calories (have I mentioned before I’m anti-Starbucks? Yes? Oh.) Did you know that there is a medical term for the winter blues you’re feeling? Appropriately acronymed SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder might be to blame. If you’re a little curious, you can find out more here. This is nothing to go running to the doctor about, (said the hypochondriac) but I do think it’s important to be aware of changes in your mood. The more aware you are, the more likely you’ll be to do something about it!
This week alone has found me in a rut with writing, burdened with a dumb migraine, and irately pissed off at anyone who crosses my path. So while outside freezing my buns off scraping the driveway, I thought maybe I could share with you some ways that I’ve kicked winter blues to the curb!
- The first step is admitting you have a problem 🙂
- Remember this thing we used to have to do in school called reading? I am shocked to know so many young people who don’t read in their leisure time. Call me a nerd, but I read a lot. I have a long list of suggestions I could give here, but instead, I’ll just give you my favorite. Bossypants, by the one and only Tina Fey, will totally turn you into a reader. (Okay, I lied! I will tell you more. All of the “Also viewed” books on that page are stellar!) It’s an everyone kind of book. I’ve probably gifted ten or so copies to anyone from newlyweds, to new moms, to older male cancer survivors. It is sometimes tears streaming down your face funny. Please take my suggestion! When you get done with Bossypants, let me know and I’ll throw some other ideas your way.
- Exercise. I am a major hypocrite here because I am rarely motivated to work out at all, made even more impossible by cold weather. BUT, I did bundle up and go out for a mile long jog on Saturday, and I have been like… watching tv while thigh mastering, lol. Here’s a really easy starting goal for regular exercise: Try to get in 10,000 steps a day. Reading that, it sounds like nothing. However, if you’ve got a desk job, I can tell you firsthand that without additional exercise, you’re only getting in 3,000-4,000 steps a day. I’ve found some pretty cost effective ways to track your steps, aside from tying a pedometer to your shoe, grandma. You can download My Fitness Pal’s free app to your phone. It’s a quick and easy way to track calories, as well as your steps if you keep your phone on you throughout the day. Fitness bands and watches are also great step trackers, but can be pricey, especially if you’re not sure how you feel about a 24/7 piece of jewelry. A friend of mine recommended the Misfit. I drove over to Best Buy to check them out, and they’re totally worth a college try. They come in several different colors, (men and women appropriate) and have some accent bands to pick from. Best of all? Ran on a watch battery, they do not require charging, and right now the Flash series are all under $50.00. I even found a set of two on clearance for $39.99.
- Find a new hobby, like ohhh, I dunno, writing a blog. Seriously though, this is the perfect time of year to finally execute some of your saved Pinterest recipes, or teach yourself how to knit. When you fill up some of your free time, there’s less laying on the couch dreaming of warmer days happening. My favorite cold weather recipe is Steak ‘n Shake Chili; give it a try! Also, if you’re thinking of taking up a hobby like knitting, Youtube has tons of learning channels.
- Try some weekend projects. If you’re like me, you frequently find yourself thinking that you will tackle the junk drawer soon. Or, the craft room could really use a clean sweep. Or, man the baseboards are dirty and gross! The truth is, we probably have some weekends ahead of us that are best kept inside. Make a plan. This weekend, I WILL tackle the junk drawer, I WILL fix the broken cabinet in the kitchen. By the time warmer weather makes its way to us, you’ll have a restored home that doesn’t distract you from all the outdoor fun! Pinterest aside, because there’s a wealth of fun options there, I found this article on HGTV that addresses home organization room by room.
Finally, when all else fails, and you’re feeling really blue, just binge watch Fixer Upper while contemplating your warmer, better life in Waco, Texas. (Just imagine your gigantic kitchen island. Heart eyes.)
What curbs your winter blues?