As the crystals of snow drift by my office windows, I can't help feel a bit of the "mid-winter" blues. Now that the holidays are gone and the novelty of a crisp breeze whipping through your hair and adding that rosy glow to your cheeks has become a nuisance, the blues set in.
The arctic winds are severe this week in Chicago and the last thing I want to do is leave the comfort of my nice, warm, cozy office. I am sure you all in the north feel the same way ... right? These feelings are what triggered my HUGE weight gain several years ago. All I did was eat chocolate and go from writing in bed to writing on the sofa.... sixteen hours a day. I shiver and cringe at the thought. So many of us get caught up in the "hibernation" stage until the sun comes out in the spring. But by that point you are considerably thicker around the middle and huff and puff as you leave your house. DON'T let this happen to you!
For the past few years, I was fortunate enough to leave the frozen tundra of the north for sunny Florida and ESAPE the 'blues' before they got their icy fingers around my throat to strangle me. However this year, I may be stuck here for the winter. Oh, no! I need to slap those 'blues' out of existence. But how? I am working on the answers to this as I write this post.
I have come to realize that movement is one answer. DON'T settle for too long. And LEAVE your house. BITE the bullet and don't think of the frigid air constricting your lungs .... DON'T feel the raw wind ripping off the top layer of your skin ... AND whatever you do, DON'T allow your fingers and toes to lock into one big ice cube. Learn to COMBAT yourself with creative alternatives. For a city dweller like myself, I don't jump into a warm car that's located in my heated garage. I have to battle the elements on a daily basis. But it can be an interesting challenge to see who will win out... I am betting on me!
Here are few simple tricks to use so you can WEATHER the STORM, and BEAT the odds.
One .... FUEL UP. EAT, and no, chocolate cookies and donuts don't count. Eat a steaming cup/bowl of oatmeal. Drink hot tea or coffee. Whole wheat toast and poached or scrambled eggs cooked in Pam. Seriously guys, eating a good breakfast will definitely keep you warm when you PUSH yourself outdoors.
Two ... LAYER your clothing. I have noticed when I add multiple layers and not only wear a hat, but earmuffs too ... it keeps the cold OUT. Wear two pairs of socks and gloves. Your head, hands, and feet are the first parts of the body to freeze up. You can't IMAGINE how many INSANE people I see on the streets without hats or gloves, open coats, and even wearing SHORTS! The people here are truly nuts. Make sure to wear a long-sleeved tee under your shirt or blouse, throw a sweater on top. Thin layers work best for me as long as they are FITTED. Bulky layers allow the wind to blow right up and into your body. You don't have to look like a football player. Fitted is the way to go. AND you can keep that stream-lined silhouette. LOL. AND DON'T forget that scarf. Wrap it around your neck and half your face if need be to ward off the winds attacking you from EVERY direction.
Three: Now this is THE most important step. PSYCHE yourself out... Think of the BEAUTY of winter... The glittering snow that looks like encrusted diamonds; the icicles creating one-of-a-kind works of sculptured crystal; listen for the laughter of kids sledding down a nearby hill; watch puppies pull their humans into snow to play ball; appreciate the stunning architecture of your city or town; feel the warm fire at your favorite Starbucks or coffee house. What a great place to spend a few hours writing.
Since I work out every day, and my gym is almost a half a mile from my condo, step three is the only one that gets me out of the house. Remember it takes more energy to step out your front door, than to do a two hour workout. Lately, I venture out a few times a day: getting groceries, running to the bank, meeting a friend for lunch or coffee ... So this is my way of attacking those blues. When inside, if I need a break from writing or work, I start crafting. It's a great way to relax, and when you've finished your project you have something cool for your home. Keeping your mind active is almost as important as keeping your body active.
So, tell me, HOW do you combat the mid-winter blues? I am sure WE ALL would like to know...
Have a great weekend everyone!
See you all on Monday.