How to Beat the Winter Blahs
It’s getting to that point in the winter where it’s hard to remember a time when Toronto didn’t seem to be auditioning for the part of Narnia under the rule of scary Tilda Swinton.
I can see my friends and myself getting a bit batty about the unrelenting winter.
So what can we do when we can’t afford to catch a jet to Australia?
I’ve got a few ideas:
How to Beat the Winter Blahs
1. Get out in it!
Unless you live in the Arctic, in which case you are probably laughing your head off at Torontonians like myself being utter babies about a proper frostbitey winter, odds are that while it might be impolitely cold out there, there are at least a few days when it’s not blisteringly windy, dark or dangerously cold. And when those days arrive, throw off your heated blankets, pull on six pairs of socks and seize them! You’ll be calmer and sleep better with some fresh air and a winter walk under your belt.
And on that note…
2. Don’t skip exercise.
I’ve been finding it much more difficult to get my butt to Barreworks these days. The thought of how much work it takes just to walk there on treacherously slippery sidewalks has me exhausted before I’ve even begun, but staying in the habit is easier than trying to re-start the habit. Plus that exercise-induced serotonin hit is a pretty unbeatable mood booster! If you’re in Toronto, try combining 1 and 2 and get your exercise at DJ skate night at Harbourfront!
3. Wear the right gear.
Maybe I’m just getting ancient before my time but when I walk by groups of women miserably huddled together outside a bar, bare legs nearly blue from the cold, I am convinced that I was never young or drunk enough to dress so colossally inappropriately for the weather. I shiver sympathetically, and burrow deeper into the layers of sweaters and fleece-lined leggings under my down coat. Miami this is not, my friends. And no amount of wishful thinking and bandage dresses in December will make it so.
4. Invest in a light therapy “Happy Lamp.”
I’ve never used one myself, but I have a couple of friends who suffer from seasonal affective disorder who swear that sitting in front of one of these bad boys makes a huge difference in their mood throughout the winter months.
5. Hibernate as needed.
Invest in board games and hot chocolate (or host a clothing swap like I did this weekend) to lure friends over for days when you just can’t make yourself brave the cold, or give yourself permission to binge watch something (I recommend season one of Orphan Black if you haven’t watched it yet). Or you can always do a bit of both: brave the cold and get some exercise and then spend the rest of the day holed up in a cozy, cheerful pub, ideally with a roaring fireplace
How do you guys keep from becoming cranky weirdos in the deepest, darkest winter? I’d love to see more tips in the comments!