Canadians usually get rather a lot of winter. This year has been particularly bad. We’ve totally overdosed. This year, even the skiiers are complaining about the cold. The whole country is plain fed up with the shitty weather because it’s been really, really shitty. We’re all cabin-fevered from huddling indoors, living in bathrobes layered over fleece and some of us are starting to look a little wild-eyed.
So here are 10 tips for beating the winter blahs. Rest assured, I’m NOT going to suggest embracing your inner Eskimo (or Indigenous Northern Person if that’s more politically correct) by suggesting going outside to learn to cross country ski when it is -18C. That’s plain silly.
I have better things in mind:
- Learn something new. Anything new that you’re interested in will do. Try knitting, Zumba or French. Try a new recipe. Right now, I’m learning to use Canva, an intuitive graphic design program (currently a beta program, free of charge). The challenge of learning something new and the instant gratification of seeing things change before my eyes is so much fun and so absorbing I’ve almost forgotten about the grey and cold outside my window. Almost…
- Plan a hot date with your mate. Better yet, plan a dirty weekend, which is the best way to beat the cold I know. Find a romantic inn or B&B with a nice restaurant and hire a babysitter. Run away from home for a night. Don’t wait for Valentine’s Day or your anniversary. Do something wonderful thing for the most important relationship in your life.
- Indulge yourself. Have a manicure or a martini. Enjoy a weekend on the couch with a whole stack of library books. Buy fresh candles for the table and eat dinner by candlelight, even if you’re alone. Highlight your hair. Go to a matinee movie. It doesn’t have to be expensive to feel like fun so go ahead and pamper yourself a little.
- Exercise! No, I’m not talking about shoveling. Something fun. Go do Zumba. Go try BodyShred. Or Yoga. Yes, I’m back at the gym and while I can’t honestly say I’m loving every second on the treadmill, I am loving the virtuous holier-than-thou feeling that envelopes me when I come out of the gym all
sweatydewy. It’s a well known fact that exercise releases feel good hormones and reduces stress. Best of all, I’m loving my chocolate milk after a work out. It’s like dessert, guilt-free, prescribed by the experts.That, alone, makes going to the gym a good way to beat the winter blahs!
- Buy flowers, spring flowers, like these lovelies from Amy Merrick. Or some sunshine yellow daffodils or hot pink tulips. (To see previous post for ideas, click here.) But, really, think twice about opening the window.
- Count your blessings. We have a roof over our heads, heat in this frigid cold, a comfy bed piled with duvets, electricity, enough to eat, our health, our loved ones and better weather to look forward to. So many people in the world do not have those basics. Realizing how lucky we are should go a long, long way to beating the blahs.
- Paint something a pretty colour. Okay, truth be told, this is my personal
addictionfavourite and it need not be confined to January. Nor need it be confined to walls. Floors, doors, shelves and anything that doesn’t move is fair game for a paint job. Instead of throwing out glass jars, you can even paint them as vases or pencil holders.
- Make or buy a Key Lime Pie or a pan of Cream cheese chocolate brownies and invite over some friends to help you eat them. Neither are hard, both are delicious and if you’ve been shoveling the driveway as much as I have, don’t worry about the calories. Stay tuned – a recipe for Key Lime Pie (and other Valentines goodies) is coming next week.
- Clean your house. If that’s too big a project, reorganize your sock drawer or your household file cabinet. It’s amazing how good it makes you feel, how good it makes your home feel and it’s a lot cheaper than redecorating. If you want to really go whole hog, declutter after you’ve cleaned. Get rid of any old books, magazines and clothing you have not touched in the past two years. Get rid of any broken or unused appliances. Cull the number of paint cans in your basement by taking them to Home Depot or other recycling. By the way, do this vigorously enough and it can count as exercise – two ways to beat the blahs for the price of one!
- If you’re not heading south anytime soon, plan a trip for the spring or summer. The anticipation is half the fun, so give yourself something to look forward to. Maybe tie in planning a trip with learning something new and again kill two birds with one stone? If Paris or Venice isn’t in the cards, perhaps I may humbly suggest a golf getaway week in May at Siesta Key 611. Or head to Siesta Key and try paddleboat yoga? (That might be something new, exercise AND something to look forward to, for a triple play in terms of beating the blahs.)Weather is pretty much guaranteed perfect in May and you’ll have the golf courses and one of the best beaches in the world almost all to yourself. What could be better?
Last thought: please remember next July what this winter has been like before you start to complain about how hot it is. Otherwise, I cannot be responsible for the consequences.