It's mid-January, which means that I've begun my downward spiral into the mid-winter blues. I've gone from embracing winter and looking forward to the holidays to counting down the days until I can feel the sun on my face. Once January 15 rolls around, I've had enough of the cold, more than enough of the grey skies, and the forecasts of snow no longer elicit visions of hot chocolate and cozy evenings by the fire. Over the years, I have found a few ways to help me get through those long January, February and endless March days:
1. Have A Summer Party: Yes, a summer party. This doesn't have to be a big deal. I know everyone is exhausted from entertaining throughout the holidays, but one of the most depressing things about winter is that we don't see each other as much since we are all hunkered down inside our homes. Invite a few women over and make some bright, cheery, summer cocktails. Put out light and colorful food, and brighten the room with some bold colors. Seeing people again and getting tipsy on pretty drinks can never hurt.
2. Get Out: If you can, even for a quick, cheap getaway trip, go somewhere warm for a few days. When my parents first moved to NC, I would take the kids out of school for a long weekend and road trip. It was always warmer, the flowers were in bloom, I saw green lawns and getting a few hours of sun and warmth was enough to keep me going another month. Scour the web for deals on airfare and vacation packages. Even if it's not your dream destination, you'll forget once you've had your first rum infused cocktail in the sun.
3. Pretend: If you can't get out, the next best thing is to pretend you have. Don't laugh; I actually do this. My bedroom is in the perfect location for those rare days when the sun comes streaming through my windows. I go upstairs, rub my favorite sunscreen onto my hands so that I can take in it's lovely scent, I get my book and I lie on my bed with the sun warm on my face. Once you close your eyes, you might as well be in the Bahamas. If you need added authenticity, bring a margarita upstairs with you.
4. If You Can't Beat It, Join It: Believe it or not, this works. There are some great things about winter and embracing them can be fun. Although I've broken two elbows ice skating and shattered a leg skiing, I enjoy outdoor winter sports. Get properly dressed (the key to enjoyment), and go ice skating, sledding or skiing. Being active and accepting the good things that the cold weather can bring helps us to remember that we will all be complaining about the heat and humidity soon enough.
5. Change Something About Yourself: If you've ever wondered what you might look like as a redhead, or if you could wear jeggings, this is the time to try. Doing something drastic adds some spice to life and brightens up the doldrums. Remember, if what you do turns out to be a disaster, you've got 2-3 months to hide inside before anyone gets to really see the "after."
Accept that it's only mid January and make the best of it. For me, time just seems to be going faster and faster, so choosing to hate 3-4 months of my year isn't the best plan. Seize the day and enjoy whether it's 25 degrees or 80.
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