Wednesday, January 29, 2014

How to Survive Blah Season

Yes, the photo on the left is a black hole.  That's how I feel about this time of year.  You know, the holidays are over, the weather is, well, unspeakable in some parts of the country right now.  We're looking at at least another month and a half of dreary and probably closer to two months.  Around these parts, our worst winter storms tend to happen in March.  So if January is shutting down the South, I'm really not looking forward to what we'll get in the middle of the country before spring arrives.

Weather is changing.  Yes, January is supposed to be cold, at least in my neck of the woods.  Cold weather means staying in more than usual and bundling up when going out.  It means going out less, if possible.  While I'm not a big outdoor person--I spend most days at my computer, working on projects, no matter what season or weather--I still like breathing fresh air.  But I don't like going out in the cold.  Let's face it.  Most of us aren't kids anymore.  And just why can the younger ones deal with cold weather so much better than adults?

Aside from the weather, I consider this Blah Season.  Yes, Valentine's Day is coming up soon, but other than that, we're on a slow boat to spring.  Punxsutawney Phil will or will not see his shadow on February 2, issuing another 6 weeks of winter, either way.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
Yes, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is real.  Let's face it, we need SUNLIGHT!  The Winter Blues affect millions of people.  But there are ways to effectively deal with them and get through Blah Season.
(Found on SmartPeople:  10 Cool Ways to Beat the Winter Blues)

  1. Exercise  Okay, I'm not a big exercise fan.  I enjoy a nice walk, but this isn't the season for it.  Numb  and sometimes throbbing fingers don't make me smile.  I'm also not a fan of gyms.  So what to do?  I have a treadmill that doubles as extra "closet space."  By that I mean that I have a tendency to hang my clothes on it. ;)  I'd get some exercise by reducing that particular closet space, then I could actually use that treadmill for exercise.  And let's not discount the small collection of exercise videos that collect dust on the shelf.  I guess that means I really can use #1 after all.
  2. Eat a Healthy Diet  I'm allergic to the word "diet."  Each time I hear, read or type the word, I want to rush out and get a shake at Sonic.  Or eat a container of ice cream.  Or a bag of candy bars.  Yeah, you get the picture.  Still, it couldn't hurt to eat more veggies and cut down on the sweets.  Couple that with #1, and it might be a win-win situation.
  3. Get Some Sun  There are two windows to my right with sunshine coming through.  I make four trips a day to two different schools, so it's not like I never leave my house.  And I leave early on those trips, so I have a good parking place, then I sit for 20 minutes, waiting for the school bells to ring and the students to come rushing out.  (I spend that time working, reading, or even listening to music.)  For now, I have this one covered.
  4. Act on Your Resolutions  Remember those New Year's Resolutions we made four weeks ago?  Or have they been forgotten.  I did work on one of them this morning, although I don't call it a resolution.  If I do that, I set myself up to fail.  What one did I work on?  Being grateful.  After Max the Dog woke me this morning, I realized it's Wednesday.  Hump Day.  Hump Day in Blah Season.  Is that an oxymoron?  My first thought, after saving my fingers from Max's playful bites, was that I'm grateful it's Wednesday.  Get through this day, and there are only two more days to make those school runs.  Now that's something I look forward to.  Yes, I'm acting on my resolution to start the day on a positive note.
  5. Avoid Binge Drinking  Really?  And I was thinking this might help.  Shucky darn.  Bummer.  My binge drinking amounts to nearly nothing anyway, so where's the fun in that?  Okay, this one is taken care of. :)
  6. Treat Yourself  Hmm, this one is tough.  Then again, I do manage to do this, now and then.  Last night I watched my two favorite college basketball teams on TV.  Because they played at the same time, although not each other, we flipped back and forth between channels.  Both teams won!  One of those teams, Wichita State University aka WSU, is ranked #4 in the nation.  Yes, watching them win 22 straight games has been a treat.  I also downloaded a book to my Kindle that I've been wanting to get for some time, found it discounted and am reading it.  I'm reading!!  Now that's a real treat!
  7. Relax!  Yeah, sure.  I recently finished revisions on my August book, jumped into writing the next book which is due in less than a month, and received line edits on that first one on Monday.  Relax?  You've got to be kidding!  By the time I make it to bed at night, my brain has quit functioning.  Meditation hasn't been happening for several days, so that's off the list for now.  Still, I've been reading that book in #6, so I do get some relaxation.  Another winner.
  8. Embrace the Season  This one is hard, but since I'm determined to be more positive, I'll try to stop complaining about the cold, terrible roads when it ice and storms, and enjoy the beauty of snowfall at midnight.  Okay, I admit that I enjoy nature, even during Blah Season.
  9. Get Social Support  Isn't that what Facebook, Twitter, and email is for?  Not to mention the telephone.  And because my youngest daughter lives with me, I'm rarely alone.  No, being lonely isn't something that comes with Blah Season.
  10. Catch Some Zzzz's  Okay, now I'm really rolling on the floor laughing.  Writers on deadline sleep?  But I have been sleeping in later on weekends and not getting up nearly as early on weekday mornings, gaining me a half hour.  If Max doesn't decide it's playtime at 7 a.m.  On rare days--and I do mean rare--I'll sneak in a nap.
If the above list didn't help point in the wrong direction, try Buzzfeed's 13 Simple Tips and Tricks for Beating the Winter Blues.  If nothing else, the photos are fun and at least chase the blues away for a few minutes.  Sometimes that's all we need.

Before we know it, the snow and cold will be gone, garden season will be in full swing, trees will be budding, and we'll all be getting out more.  Until then, if Blah Season or the Winter Blues are getting you down, try the tips above for some strong offense.  And remember, March Madness is just around the corner!  Go Shox!
I like these cold, gray winter days. Days like these let you savor a bad mood. ~ Bill Watterson

1 comment:

Kim Batchelor said...

Thanks for posting, Rox. Now if you can help me further with 7, 8, and 10. :)