Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Fighting the Winter Blues

It's come to my attention that an alarming number of my Connecticut friends are really miserable in the winter. Having grown up in Minnesota, where winters were much longer and more severe (I once took my dog for a walk when the wind chill was -72° just to see what it would feel like), I'm going to offer a few tips on how to make the most of winter.

1. Get a warmer coat. Seriously. Very few people in Connecticut have a proper winter coat. Teens are out waiting in the snow for the bus in hoodies -- hoodies!-- and adults are out in skimpy trendy pseudo-winter coats (like the ones pictured here), proving they are no smarter than their kids.

These are fine if you live in Alabama. Look at the temperature ratings for a coat before you buy it. I have a long down coat from Lands End rated for -35° to -15° that I just love. I am never cold in that coat. In fact, I get too hot while exercising, but it's great for standing around at the dog park or running errands. While you're at it, get some proper gloves and boots. If you're properly dressed, the winter air on your cheeks will feel crisp and invigorating, not cold.

2. Go do something outside every day. Otherwise you will get "cabin fever" and become depressed. I walk a couple miles a day all year long. It's actually more comfortable walking in the winter than in the summer, assuming you have a proper coat, because you don't get all sweaty and overheated. Take up winter sports like skiing or snowshoeing. This is what people in the North do. Otherwise they would shoot themselves.

3. Don't allow yourself to think about spring or summer or anyplace warm until March. That's right, you heard me. You will just make yourself miserable focusing on what you want instead of making the best of what you have. Go into a winter frame of mind - embrace the season! Focus on the good aspects of winter - hey, no bugs or poison ivy, and no need to take two showers every day only to be covered with sweat after 20 minutes. No pollen or mold. You don't have to mow or weed the garden. And the snow transforms the landscape in a rather magical way. Enjoy it while you can!

1 comment:

hikeagiant2 said...

Love that last photo - it's absolutely breathtaking! and I agree - just like 'mom' used to say - bundle up.

I'm a newbie snowshoer - find it wonderfully challenging! Thanks for the post!