It’s official. I have become an old fogey. I say this not because I’m about to celebrate my birthday this week, but because I start every conversation I have with anyone I encounter (including unsuspecting clerks at 7-Eleven) with a comment about the weather. Given that I live in Boston, that means the conversation is typically limited to varying degrees of rain or the ever amusing pre Halloween snow storm. Fortunately, the recent time change has given me new fodder.
I hate the end of Daylight Savings Time. It comes in like a shroud, covering everyone in the doom and gloom of the impending winter, forcing those of us hoping for an Indian Summer to finally put away our shorts, pull down the storm windows and pray for June to get here as soon as possible. That being said, I’m sitting here basking in a sunny dining room while it’s a blissful 65 degrees outside, so I’ve got renewed hope for this winter. Since Mother Nature has decided to throw me a bone with this balmy day, I’ve decided to do my part to make the most of the shorter days and to fight the winter blues.
A quick Google search along with calls to ask a few friends yielded these bits of advice. I hope they help. If you have any other favorite tips or tricks, please post them. I can use all of the help I can get!
Wear light layers. Layer several lighter articles of clothing rather than wearing 1-2 heavy pieces to avoid feeling weighed down.
I spend my days trying to ensure that I don’t turn into the crazy cat lady someday, so I need to get a jump start on that by not wearing the same gray wool cardigan every day from November to June.
Learn something new. Start a hobby. Developing an interest in something new will make you feel good during those long winter months.
I’ve decided to try and take up knitting. I love scarves, so I’m going to try making one. Even if I don’t succeed at knitting anything that resembles a scarf, just being able to knit a few rows without poking out my own eye will be a personal accomplishment.
Pick up the phone. If you’re feeling isolated after a few days of being holed up in your house, reach out to an old friend by giving them a call.
My houseplants are not suitable conversation partners. I have some wonderful friends that I’ve lost touch with, so I can use this time to catch up with them and see how many kids they’ve had since we last spoke.
Get out of the house. It may be freezing outside and warm inside but if you don’t get out of the house the blues will just increase. A walk or even a drive can get the blood flowing and shake the blues.
Granted, I don’t recommend going for a drive if you live in Boston, since peoples’ behavior on the roads here always makes me doubt my belief that human beings are inherently good, but a walk around Jamaica Pond always does the trick.
Book it. An old trick someone told me was to read a book or watch a movie that takes place in the desert or some other place that is extremely warm.
This gives me a good if not noble excuse to watch The Blue Lagoon for the 17th time, or if I’m trying to be slightly more respectable and responsible, I could finally finish reading Reading Lolita in Tehran.
Wear bright colors, even if everyone is wearing dark earthy tones. Color will give you a real lift.
I have to admit, I’ve done this for years and it’s one of my favorites. Not only does it make me feel better, but I’m always amazed by how many comment on my outfit. Not only do I enjoy, but they do, too, and it sparks a conversation.
Bring color into where you live.
Whether treating myself to a brightly colored coffee mug for hot chocolate on those cold days or buying a $7 bunch of fresh flowers at the market, color has getting me through even the darkest day (sorry, couldn’t resist the pun).
Get your blood pumping. Getting any exercise when it’s frigid or snowing out is tough, but it’s an important way to stay off the couch and get an energy boost.
Granted, I have yet to bite the bullet and join a gym, but a brisk walk is free and also gives me a chance to satisfy my dog cravings. There are a few new Labs on my block and I met a St. Bernard puppy my last time around the pond!