Fighting the Winter Blues

10 Jan

So we’ve reached that awful time in the winter where there isn’t a whole lot to look forward to: Thanksgiving, the gateway holiday season has passed; Christmas, my all-time favorite is over and done; and New Year’s my least favorite, has obviously also come and gone.

We are into the winter doldrums. Grey, cloudy days. Threats of winter storms (well, what we StL-ers call winter storms) come and go on a weekly basis. The temperatures continue to plummet into the teens each evening and the car takes about 10 minutes to warm-up each morning.

We have 90 days until the Cardinals home opener, until flip flops are even considered a possible form of footwear, and until the weather thinks about starting to warm up for us.

What does this mean? That I’m eagerly seeking ways to make winter suck less. As I mentioned last week I have two exciting things coming up in the near future: the visit from Lisa at the end of this month and my trip to Florida, both guaranteed to make winter less dreary. In addition to that, here’s a few other remedies that I’ve found help:

* Pampering myself. I’m finally using one of my groupons for a manicure/pedicure in a few weeks which my hands and feet desparately need. Additionally, I’m going for facials every six weeks and make sure not to miss one in the winter. Between the heated bed that I get to lie on for an hour, the amazing treatment I get from my esthetician it’s literally an hour spent in heaven. And I’m allowing myself a top-shelf haircut/color at a fantastic local Spa every six to eight weeks. Indulgent overall? Maybe. But I feel good. My face glows and my hair looks great. Plus it adds some bright moments to the dull days.

* Video chatting! So maybe the roads are rough and I can’t afford either the vacation days or travel to all my favorite friends and family. But Video Chatting? It doesn’t require anything other than my computer and internet, two things I already have. I’ve enjoyed chatting with my friends from coast-to-coast, and Knight during our weeks apart. It makes the friendship grow stronger and as a bonus, I can be in my sweats and under a blanket!

* More trips to the library. And movie theater. The library is an obvious choice because it’s free and the literary works of art are endless. (Not to mention I have a challenge of 45 books to read in 2011 and I must meet it!) This means I’m spending more time relaxing and reading cozied up on my favorite red couch, book in hand, a cup of tea and not a care in the world. And then the movies! I have been absent from the movie scene for a bit, but I’m getting back into it especially now that Oscar season is afoot. Thanks to a stack of free movie passes I got from work, I haven’t had to pay for a movie in months and I’m thinking I’ll be a more frequent movie-goer until the sunshines on a regular basis.

* Spending time with an apron on. The amount of amazing cookbooks I received for Christmas was awesome and not totally surprising given the fact friends and family know I love to cook/bake. I’ve been trying out new recipes and turning to baked goods for comfort. It does wonders for the heart, even if not for the waistline. Might as well make the house smell delicious and warm, right?

* Exploring my city. Some nights I brave the cold, bundled up in warm sweaters and boots, my winter coat, and hit bars and restaurants and other attractions I’ve not been to before. I’ve lived here for 17 years and in the last few weeks I’ve discovered new favorite restaurants, coffee shops and beer bars. It’s fun to re-discover my town with Knight when he’s around, my friends and family; reminds me of just how awesome my city is.

What do you do to combat the winter doldrums? Any suggestions for me?

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19 Responses to “Fighting the Winter Blues”

  1. andrea January 10, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    It may be silly.. but I’m a big fan of looking at each Monday like it’s 1/52nd of a New Years Day. You get to recommit, make new goals, and even celebrate a little. I have a standing date with my boyfriend for Monday nights, I get a little dressed up Mondays.. it helps, and it marks the days a little better. Gives you something to look forward to, and count down to summer. xo

  2. Becky January 10, 2011 at 7:53 am #

    I’m all about reading – so cozy, such a great escape!

  3. mandy January 10, 2011 at 8:02 am #

    I do many of the same things you do — video chat with friends, watch movies (Hello, Netflix) and read. With the addition of the Wii and Mario Kart, I have a feeling there will be a lot of that going on in my house this winter too. Oh and I apply for jobs in the South, because every single year I swear that I won’t live here through another winter.

  4. Maddy January 10, 2011 at 8:05 am #

    I try to plan fun activities so I had something to look forward to during the winter months. For example, we have to concerts coming up and a weekend getaway to a nearby city! Anything to fight off the winter blues :)

  5. Lisa of Lisa's Yarns January 10, 2011 at 8:20 am #

    I plan trips to escape Minneapolis. Ha. ;) And in addition to that, I do a lot of reading and knitting. And more cooking, too!

    Can’t wait to see you in just a couple of weeks!!

  6. Brittney January 10, 2011 at 10:07 am #

    I think I must be the only person on the planet who finds Spring and Summer to be depressing and Fall and Winter to be darnight exhiliarating! LOL

  7. Ris January 10, 2011 at 10:13 am #

    Working out is a great way for me to beat the winter blues. I even went and got some fancy cool-weather running gear and I try to make it outside for a run at least twice a weekend. During the week I workout inside but mix it up by running stairs or laps around the hallways instead of confining myself to the workout room.

  8. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair January 10, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Ugh it is that time of year isn’t it! I try to plan fun outdoor activities (like snowboarding!) if the weather allows it. I try to keep semi-busy and plan things but at the same time I like to give in to the pull of the cold, dreary days and spend a lot of time relaxing and watching movies or TV shows on DVD :)

  9. michelle January 10, 2011 at 10:40 am #

    i’m doing a bit more reading myself. trying to get through as many books as possible before the semester starts. sounds like you have quite the kick ass attack on the winter sads :)

  10. Kyla Roma January 10, 2011 at 12:36 pm #

    My answer is so lame, but honestly heated seats in my car have taken me from wanting to move away stat to being totally okay in the winter. You can even buy them separately as a seat cover and plug them into your car :)

  11. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks January 10, 2011 at 1:29 pm #

    Talk about winter doldrums, try being on Gavin lockdown. I mean, yeah, I’ve got this cute kid to stare at all day … but, we’re climbing the walls!

    Maybe you need to meet Gavin via video chat? Just sayin’…

  12. phampants January 10, 2011 at 4:30 pm #

    That’s one thing I need to do more, explore my own city.

  13. katelin January 10, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    i like either going to the movies or cuddling up with wine and a book. that just sounds like an ideal winter getaway :)

  14. Jessica January 10, 2011 at 9:15 pm #

    You are so right, we are in the winter doldrums now that the holidays are over. I love your list of tips! And what do you have for video chatting on the Droid? We should video chat!

  15. OG January 10, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    Come on down to Naples, it’s sunny and warm.

  16. Charise January 11, 2011 at 1:54 pm #

    I purposely keep myself busy in Jan and Feb; right now, that’s meant planning my drawn-out grad school schedule to take classes in the winter quarter when I don’t have as much else going on. I also like to use the cold and dreary weather as an excuse for more books-and-movies-on-the-couch time.

    AND you have to give yourself something to look forward to – I’ve got a girls’ night coming soon, and a long weekend road trip coming next month.

  17. Emily Jane January 11, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I definitely hear you on the winter doldrums front! January onward is just kind of miserable here, it’s still -20 every day yet there’s no festivity to detract from it any more… my method just involves making sure I always have SOMETHING to look forward to each month, if not each week. I tend to go on vacation somewhere warm in January (9 days, hello!), February I focus on lovey-dovey Valentine’s things, March St. Patrick’s Day, and April a few days holiday over Easter. This end-of-winter I’m also throwing in a few good books to take me away from the outside bitterness!

  18. Manderz January 17, 2011 at 10:42 am #

    I recently cleared off our treadmill and dusted off my yoga videos so I can get my exercise in without venturing out into the cold.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Habits « Silverwalking - January 14, 2011

    [...] Fighting the Winter Blues (walkingwithnora.com) [...]

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