5) Chasing Those Winter Blahs Away

February 12, 2011

Taken last winter at The Beaches, in Toronto.

Yes, it’s that time of year again and the February blahs have got me clamped in its clutch. I’ve been feeling listless and wiped out, with a mild fog of the blah-ues hovering over my frizzy haired horizon.  Lately, my mornings are met with a strong urge to draw the duvet up past my forehead instead of inspiring me to spring out of bed with my arms stretched wide to greet the new day. I want to wake up like that – wide armed and ready! I do not want to be one of those people who complains about winter since that would require me whining for up to six months each year.

I’m determined to pull a few tricks out of my (ahem)… hat in order to wave these brrr induced blahs away.

List 5 – 20 Ways To Brrreak The Winter Blahs:

  1. Bake something. Nothing like filling the house with the scent of cinnamon and butter attached to all that warmth wafting out of the oven to lift the spirits. It’s also pretty swell to have created something delicious by your own hand.
  2. Get a big pot of soup simmering on the stove top. Similar to 1. this is also a great way to add a bit of delicious humidity to the dry, static air while adding a bit of much-needed nourishment to your over-winterized, vitamin depleted bod.
  3. Start knitting. Or, (if you’re like me) pick up that project you abandoned once it got to hot out to consider having a pile of yarn on your lap. The extra yarnage helps you stay warm, too. Bonus!
  4. Pull on a big, fluffed up, cozy sweater and pick up a book you won’t be able to put down.
  5. Head out to a foggy windowed café to people watch while sipping on your favourite brew.
  6. Pay close attention to the sound of snow crunching under your boots. I happen to really like that sound. I suppose it reminds me of trudging to school (yes, we walked in those days) in the deep, deep freeze of Winnipeg winters. Talk about brrr…
  7. Curl up on the couch swathed in a warm blanket, hot mug of soup in hand (see number 2) and a movie (or three) popped into the dvd player. I recently drew the curtains (mid weekday!) and watched I Am Love starring  the amazing Tilda Swinton (love her). Yes, it was my day off and, yes, I had a million (or so) other things I should have been doing but we all need to take time to refuel. Especially when it’s chilly out there.
  8. It’s the best time to tuck into that giant pill of New Yorker magazine you can’t keep up with. Winterize this activity by staying in bed with the covers pulled up as high as possible while still being able to read.
  9. Get some fresh air! Go to the art gallery. If it’s sunny out and the temp hasn’t dropped below -10 (feeling colder with the windchill) by all means go to that part of town where the galleries are clustered making it ideal to hop. Hopping is a great way to stay warm. Otherwise go to one of the bigger gals or museums in town and spend of few hours getting lost in art. I can feel the snow melting already.
  10. Go skating!
  11. Marvel at the wonders of winter. Snowflakes, snow drifts, icicles, frozen rivers (with the sound of water trickling underneath). Connect your senses to the elements. Mmmm…
  12. Start a craft project. I just might pull my sewing machine out of its case and whip up a pair of simple curtains. I’ll be honest with you, though, this type for project can swing it either way. Depending on how the the final product turns out this one might actually make me feel worse. But there’s nothing like a good, risky challenge to get the heart pumping.
  13. Get active! As much as I’ve avoided it lately (just feeling too tired/blah… ) I know exercising can be a cure all to my lethargic tendencies. I always feel better after I’ve hit something (other than the wall) like the pool, the trail, the yoga mat. Work it!!!
  14. Grab the camera. For me, going on a walk with my camera often (actually, almost always) perks me up. I’m pretty sure this has to do with losing myself in the moment. Just bundle up!
  15. It’s a great time to break up the routine. This is very important. Instead of going from home, to work, to home, to work (with a few chore-related detours tossed in for bad measure) break the chain by leaving a bit earlier than you’re used to (whether it’s to work or on the way home) and spend sometime outside. Better yet, grab your coat at lunchtime and go for a walk. I know this might sound daunting when the Weather Network has been forecasting temps that “feels like” -24 C (or colder) with the windchill, but just dress a bit warmer and open those lungs for some cool (or cold), fresh air.
  16. Hook up with someone who makes you laugh.
  17. Chase a sunbeam and bask in it for as long as possible. Beam me up sunny!
  18. Enroll in a class. Nothing like using the tool of knowledge, or exercise (or whatever suits your fancy) to knock that cabin fever out of your system.
  19. Meditate or incorporate some breathing exercises into you daily regime. Preferable in that sunbeam you chased down in numero 17.
  20. Be good to yourself. Not to be confused with feeling sorry for yourself. Sometimes when my system is low-down every little thing in my life that’s not working (or I imagine is not working) can get caught in the web. At times like this it is CRUCIAL to show yourself some kindness. Instead of saying “boo-hoo poor me” (no self-pity here please) wrap your arms around yourself (symbolically, otherwise you might put your back out) and pat yourself on the shoulder. Murmur kind words in your ear along the lines of, “You’re going to be okay I’m right here for you.”, “Let it all out honey and tell me what’s wrong.”, or, “I will always love you. You’re perfect. Let’s dance.” Sink into it and feel what you need to feel; cry, scream, laugh maniacally, smack up that pillow on you unmade bed. Do what you need to do in order to connect with how you’re feeling (without pulling an innocent bystander down with you) and then splash some water on your face, brush yourself off and greet a new day.

I swear I feel better already.


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