Secrets To Staying Sane During Winter
“Cold out there, eh?!”. For the next 6 months, 90% of Midwestern small-talk will revolve around the weather. It’s also during this period that cuss words reach their yearly high within our humble communities. Ear muffs won’t function solely as barriers to the cold.
This genetically programmed small talk, accompanied by the bitter cold and barren tundra, is enough to drive anyone insane. We are here to help curb that insanity and make the journey to spring a little easier.
Be One With The Snow
We don’t expect you to fully embrace the cold, but embracing the snow is essential. This doesn’t have to be a chore. There are many activities that will not only bring hours of entertainment, but can actually become hobbies.
Snowshoeing, skiing, and fat-tire biking are great ways to challenge yourself, explore, and stay healthy. Have access to a lake, or know someone who does? Not only is ice fishing a great escape, it’s extremely rewarding and has the potential to become a lifelong activity. Any activity that presents a challenge keeps your mind distracted from the elements and betters you as a person.
More of a homebody? A great way to turn a bad situation into a rewarding one is to start helping your neighbors with snow removal. Make it your mission to be an asset to your neighborhood. When the snow starts falling, you will begin to view it is an opportunity to help, not a chore you detest.
Viewing snow as an opportunity to be, and do, better will make winter an entirely different experience.
Don’t throw away any personal days just to stay home and binge-watch your favorite show or avoid a random Monday. Save these precious days for a winter vacation. Preferably somewhere warm.
Although coming back to reality once the trip has ended will be brutal, it’s essential to distance yourself from the cold and hit the reset button. Holding off for as long as possible is encouraged.
Develop A New Skill
Being cooped up inside is only as bad as you make it. We all have skills we dream of learning. Unfortunately, most of us approach the challenge like a new year’s resolution – all talk. Not only is this the perfect time to dedicate yourself to a skill you have been talking about for ages, it will actually make you want to be inside.
Whether you want to teach yourself how to cook, learn a new language, or become a woodworker, stop talking and start doing. It’s extraordinary how rewarding it is to learn a new skill.
If, after some effort, you still find yourself struggling to stay motivated, challenge friends or family members to learn the same skill. The competitiveness will keep you motivated, and a deeper connection will form among those sharing in the experience.
See The Light
Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD, is type of depression related to the changing seasons. With a decrease in exposure to sunlight, those who suffer from SAD often feel a decrease in energy and fluctuations in mood. Common in our area, these funks can be dealt with using light therapy.
Light therapy, or phototherapy, is a first-line treatment of seasonal affective disorder. Mimicking the sun, special light boxes emit specific wavelengths associated with daylight. This exposure works to maintain a normal circadian rhythm and balance levels of serotonin and melatonin production. These boxes have become extremely effective in combatting seasonal depression and have the ability to dramatically improve winter living.
As each winter passes, and the first day above freezing rises from the flakes, we rejoice by throwing on our favorite summer gear and blinding our neighbors with a skin hue similar to the snow we loathed for the past 6 months. Although seemingly impossible, it’s our hope that by embracing even one of these strategies, the winter you once detested will become a season you adore.