Yesterday morning when I woke up at 7:00 , the temperature here was -5 degrees Fahrenheit. This morning when I woke up at 6:56, the temperature here was -6 degrees Fahrenheit.
In January, February, and March, I sometimes struggle (to varying degrees) with Seasonal Affective Disorder. I prefer to use the term "The Winter Blues" or "The Winter Blahs", because I don't like phrases that contain the words "I" and "disorder" in them. No matter what we call it though, the fact is that I tend to be more grouchy, less optimistic, and more prone to unnecessary worrying and discouragement during the winter months than I do during the other months. Some years it's agonizing (the winter of 2005 comes to mind), and some years it's just a little annoying. (So far this year looks like it might turn out that way. Here's hoping.)
Anyway, over the years, I've come up with a few little survival techniques that have helped me get through the winters with more joy and less gloom. So, just for fun, I'll post a few of them here:
1. I have 5-6 hat/scarf sets, and I wear them almost every day. I'm lucky in that my hair looks about the same whether or not I've just taken off a hat. That works out well for me, because I simply LOVE wearing hats in the winter. They keep me warmer, and for some reason I feel jauntily pretty when I'm wearing one. As to the scarves, that's more of a warmth thing than an "I feel pretty" thing. I'm always surprised at how much colder I feel when I leave the house without my scarf. Call me a wimp, but I'd rather be wimpy and warm than strong and cold.
2. I try to schedule at least one out-of-the-valley trip in either February or March each year. This year Eric and I are taking our we-didn't-gain-any-weight-over-the-holidays reward weekend trip in February. We'll probably just end up in Salt Lake, but I'm looking forward to that nearly as much as if we were headed to balmy Jamaica. And then (speaking of balmy), in March we're headed to Alabama to visit the Keslers. How fun will that be? Thoughts of that trip are getting me through many a cold winter morning these days.
3. I start reminding people in the middle of February that my birthday is less than a month away. It's a bit obnoxious, but nothing gets me through a cold snowy January, followed by a cold snowy February, followed by a cold snowy March, like remembering that my birthday is coming up. Since celebrating a birthday isn't nearly as fun alone as it is with others, and since I have extremely good-natured friends and relatives who humor me, I've gotten pretty good at milking this as my own personal holiday. It's GREAT.
4. Sometimes, when the clouds settle in for more than a day or two, I take a quick road trip up into the mountains on my lunch break. I'm generally amazed at just how much of a difference a few minutes in the sunshine can make for my outlook.
That's pretty much all I can think of for the moment, and I have a pretty full evening planned. So, I'd better end this for now. Stay warm out there.
ps-Two posts in two days! Don't get used to this. You may not hear from me again until Sunday or Monday.