I woke up to a white powder-dusted world and thought, “Clearly beating the winter blues is going to be a process.” And while drawing mermaids with my daughter was the art version of standing under a vitamin d lamp, I’ve got a lot of tricks in my “Survive Winter” bag.
First, let me say that I don’t hate winter.
I’m a season person. I like the changes our world makes during its trip around the sun. But winter tests me the closer I get to February. I get a little woe-is-me-islands-exist-and-I-don’t-get-to-go-to-them. So this is the time I lean on a few tried and true methods of beating the winter blues.
1. Drink hot stuff
This one is a no-brainer. Short of a steam bath, nothing warms me up like a hot cup of tea (or hot chocolate). If you’re feeling down, make it fancy with whipped cream and sprinkles. If you’re feeling extra down, there’s always hot toddies and a Netflix marathon of Grace and Frankie.
2. Bulb flowers on the windowsill
The smell of hyacinths is guaranteed to make you feel better, and it might even be powerful enough to make doing the dishes seem pleasant. If not, combine with the hot toddy option in #1.
3. Collect all the pretty things
Well, not all of them. You still need money for groceries. But while most of us are year-round enthusiasts of all things antique and vintage, there’s something comforting about using this time of year to collect a few pieces of your favorite items.
My Achilles heal? Vintage plates.
Fine. Who am I kidding? Vintage plates are the tip of my ice berg. Vintage pottery, wall sconces, colorful oil paintings – my list of favorites goes on and on. My favorite go-to shopping place is Goodwill. And when penniless, it’s still fun to stalk items on ebay, just to see what exists. I once found a turn of the century vintage plate with green trim and bull dog in the center. I didn’t even buy it. I just looked at it. That cheered up my entire day.
4. Get outside anyway
Living in the northeast has given me a whole new appreciation for winter gear. Once you have the right coat, hat, and shoes, braving the outdoors is much easier. Even when it’s frigid, once I’m moving and my blood is pumping, and I catch a glimpse of bird tracks in the snow, or hear a crow call across the fields, I’m always so glad I braved the elements.
5. Light a candle. Light all the candles.
Every time I light a candle in wintertime I always think about the Danish. They use the word Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) to describe making things cozy and special. The Danes know their stuff about surviving winter and making things cheerful, the sun sets in Copenhagen around 3:45 in December. So light those candles. Put them in a pretty glass and create some happy coziness.
6. Comfort food
Even though most of us are still reeling from our over indulgence on things like cheese balls and grandma’s cherry pie from Christmas, we can still agree this is not the season for eating salad every night. Once a week, find something that really makes you happy, and eat it.
After all, you’re going for all those walks anyway, right?