Sunday, January 24, 2010

Beating the Winter Blahs

Superheroes Secrets from The Conscious Shopper

Today, I was thinking back on some of my recent posts, and I noticed a trend starting in November. As soon as the weather began getting colder, many of my posts turned into one big mope fest: I'm sick, so screw the city's public transportation totally sucks...I just want to have a freakin' vacation...and I'm tired of having to try so hard.

I'm not usually so mopey - it's winter, and I suffer bad from the winter blahs. In fact, on days when the sky is grey, I have trouble getting myself out of bed at all. A few winters ago, I joked to my husband that I needed to get involved in a winter sport, reasoning that if I had a reason to enjoy winter, I wouldn't suffer through it so much. I still haven't taken up ice skating, but I have found a few other ways to beat the winter blahs:
  • Focus on indoor hobbies. I will probably never take up a winter sport, because I hate the cold. (It's 68 degrees in my house right now, and I'm wearing long johns and contemplating putting on mittens.) But winter is a great time to try out some new indoor hobbies such as knitting and sewing. The Simple, Green, Frugal Co-Op caught my attention with a tutorial for making soap in a crockpot, and I'm thinking of switching from my usual bread recipe to the no-knead method using this sandwich loaf hack from The Kitchn.
I'm trying to take these tips to heart and be a little less mopey this winter. I've also decided that I need a little more human interaction - in winter we tend to be more isolated from people than in the warmer months when we spend more time outside. So in the words of the band Nada Surf, I've decided, "Oh, f*** it. I'm gonna have a party."

How are you beating the winter blahs?


therese said...

Well, if you have snow outside, there's no need to hink about it, is there? Sledding, skiing, building snowmen etc etc. Apart from this, the same rules apply as to how to avoid depression: omega 3, exercise, light (I'm considering buying one of these therapy lamps, as I live in Norway and hardly get to see the sun for several months a year), social interaction and meaningful activities. Sounds as if you're on the right track :)
But being norwegian, I've always wondered about the indoor temperature in the states (I don't know where you live). People are wearing t-shirts inside when it's winter outside. How come? Here, we're advised to keep it at - exactly - 68 degrees F inside, for the sake of healthy indoor climate. I guess somewhere between 68 and 74 is the most common here. I'm wearing wool long johns, fleece and thick socks during winter.

The 4 Bushel Farmgal said...

1 - I took up the One Small Change challenge at Hip Mountain Mama's blog. It's a good jump start about eco-thinking, and has made me change some of my eating habits.
2 - I'm slowly painting my condo - room by room.
3 - And I'm having a thorough clear-out. Winter has a wonderful effect on the "do I really need this?" thought process!

balmeras said...

I've struggled with them a lot this year, too. One thing that has really boosted my mood lately -- I've gotten back into music. I have spent a lot of time listening to music I haven't heard in years, finding new artists I like, and blowing up my iPod, which was pretty dusty.

Hang in there. Spring is on its glorious way! Cheers- Bethe @balmeras

Daisy said...

I enjoy winter snow, but not winter rain. That's what we have today. To cope, I've decided to have a fire in the fireplace today; it'll be a warm and cozy companion to the football games!

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@therese - Lots of Americans do keep their houses warm but not everyone. I think 68 to 74 is pretty normal here too. There are also many parts of the U.S where it doesn't get too cold in winter, so someone might have their house at 68 and go outside to 60 degree weather and be comfortable wearing a t-shirt. Hmmm...guess besides that I don't really have an answer to the t-shirt question. I never really noticed before!

@The 4 Bushel Farmgal - Spring cleaning in winter is a brilliant idea!

@balmeras - Good tip. I did break out the dusty ol' guitar the other night and had a little jam session with my husband. We haven't done that in year!

@Daisy - Oh, I'm jealous of your fireplace...

concretenprimroses said...

Therese, are you referring to people you see on tv? We keep our house around 68 degrees. My dh had a t shirt on out side today doing yard work, temp just above freezing, but neither of us sits around inside in t-shirts when its cold out. Sometime I have to take my coat off shoveling snow cuz I get to hot. My mom keeps her thermostat lower than we do cuz her house is not as well insulated and costs too much to heat if she doesn't keep it lower.
I had the worst blahs ever this year. Getting out of town for a long weekend helped a lot even tho it wasn't to a warm climate. I think Erin is right about winter craft too. I miss gardening sooo much its important to have a satisfying substitute.

Condo Blues said...

Last weekend I had the worse case of the winter blahs. We were going to take the dog to the dog park just to get out of the house until it started to rain. My dog wouldn't mind playing in the mud but their wouldn't be many other dog for him to play with. Instead I forced myself to clean the house. Big time. Like a spring cleaning clean house. Did the ironing (which I hate) and all that. By the end of the day I was a little less grumpy, had a good sense of tired, and liked the metaphor of getting things in order when I was feeling out of sorts. Oh, and I caught up on all sorts of movies while I was doing it!

therese said...

No, I'm actually referring to photos from blogs I read. Bare feet, t-shirts, and tons of snow outside. Maybe they're just comfortable being cold, what do I know :)

The Nurturing Pirate said...

I beat the winter blahs by.... living in San Diego. Sorry. I know that doesn't help. ;-) Believe it or not, I do still get the winter blahs. I HATE being cold, which for me, means anything below 75. Instead of throwing a party, you could also just have friends over for dinner. We have a weekly "Family Dinner Night" with our friends, who have a daughter about the same age as my kids. It's very cozy to cook together while the kids play, and it gives us something to look forward to every week. But it's not as much effort as a party.


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