Survive and thrive this winter
By Joy Neighbors
The days are dark, which causes many of us to appear as gloomy as the skies above.
But these long, cold days of winter also offer us a respite from the hectic days that come with warmer weather. Survive and thrive through the winter with a sizzling strategy.
Surround yourself with sunny images
Yes, photos of sunny vistas, sunny days spent with loved ones, or the sunny summer view from the kitchen window can brighten your day. Keep these photos out for a sunny recharge when you’re feeling cold and cranky.
We all have things we’ve been “meaning to get to…” and these drab days of winter are perfect to light a fire under that ambition. Decide what you’ve put off for too long and get started. Need a few ideas?
Begin working (or continue) on your family genealogy. Now’s the perfect time to visit FamilySearch.com for an amazing array of free information about your ancestors. Take a genealogy course online or attend a local or state genealogy meeting. Winter is the perfect time to “grow your roots.”
Organize those photos. Once you start, you’ll be so involved in reliving the wonderful memories, you’ll forget that the snow is falling outside. And if you have some photos that aren’t a joy to look at, ditch ‘em. No one said you have to keep those images. Remember, winter is a great time to purge.
Coordinate those recipes you’ve been keeping. Digitally, in binders, in a box, it doesn’t matter, just get them in order so that you can find what you want when you want it. And once you’re done, use them to cook a fantastic meal.
Get busy planning your garden. Peruse seed catalogs, map out a new garden design, vow to plant three new flowers, fruits or veggies this year. Once you’ve got everything organized, take a trip to the home improvement store to see what’s popular and trending.
Meet up with friends
Friends can chase the blues away, even those that are weather-related. Grab your best pals and plan an after work or weekend afternoon outing to a local restaurant or pub. Indulge in a hot drink, order comfort food, tell stories, and enjoy lots of laughs. Friends are always good for what ails you.
It’s already dark outside, so indulge yourself and go see a movie, take in a play, or visit a comedy club. There’s something magical about sharing a laugh, or a cry, with a room full of strangers. At the movies, buy that jumbo buttered popcorn and wrap up in a comfy blanket from home. At the theatre, find a warm place to sit and let yourself get carried away in the performance. At the comedy club, take a seat up front and be willing to become part of the show. Or sit in the back and guffaw to your heart’s content.
The Norwegians call it “koselig,” but we know it as staying cozy. Whether you like to bundle in a blanket, wear an extra pair of plush socks, sit next to a roaring fire, or sip hot tea, find what makes you feel cozy and revel in it. And remember to dress warmly. Layer clothing and opt for warm footwear. Heading out into the elements? Wear a coat that keeps you toasty, and don’t forget the gloves, hat and boots. At this time of year, the goal is to stay warm.
You’ll be surprised how much better that little bouquet makes you feel. It’s like seeing the light at the end of the long, dark winter tunnel. The sight, the colors, the smell — it all adds up in our brain as a hopeful sign of spring, and that’s something we’re all looking for.
Grab these dark days of winter and make the most of them. It will be warm weather again before you know it.