Many people I know battle winter doldrums, seasonal depression, whatever. I have discovered that on dark. dreary days there are certain things that invariably make me happy:
1. Not just music but singing. If I’m at home alone or in the car, I do this very loudly sometimes; dancing helps. Not in the car. Today it was my usual jazz standards and a little Dixie Chicks.
2. Inspirational movies. Lately I’ve been into sports-related kids movies, maybe partly b/c I can download a bunch on iTunes. Last night it was Remember the Titans, which I’d never seen and liked very much. Last month it was Mystery, Alaska, which has some very funny one-liners. I think next it’ll be Miracle; I saw that one in the theater and liked it then, too.
3. Being productive. I was just telling a friend on the phone that when winter doldrums have really taken hold I like to break down big tasks into their smallest possible components, just so I can check more things off my to do list, making the check marks invariably improves my general demeanor… so even if it’s just, “Call x.” “Email y.” or “Revise grant proposal.” I love making the little check marks when they’re finished! Getting in action gets me out of my pattern of thinking, and that can be very useful during the winter doldrums. Plus I loooove the feeling of getting lots done.
4. Get outside. As long as it’s not raining, even if it’s dumping snow, getting outside always helps. Tonight a freind and I are going to walk along the lake and go to our favorite lakeside retaurant. Mufasa thinks this is a great idea and hopes he can go along. Which brings us to the next point…
5. Get the dog to get in bed. Today Mufasa and I had lengthy, nose-to-nose conversations about this. The only drawback is that when he grows accustomed to being petted, he doesn’t want me to stop and will keep nudging his nose under my right hand no matter what I’m doing. If I start typing, there’s his big ol’ nose between the keyboard and my hand, and he tosses his head back just a little so my hand runs over his head. He’ll do this over and over and over and over and over… it is very cute even if it takes 3. Being productive. a little longer.
Pitfalls of the doldrums
1. Comfort food. I’ve found brownie mix in my local grocery store and it makes these rich, soft, cake-like, super-choclatey brownies. I need to stop now with the brownies.
2. Grey’s Antomy overload. I have Seasons 1 and 2 on DVD and Season 3 on iTunes. That’s every episode of Grey’s Anatomy ever released, plus all sorts of bonus features on the DVDs. The question becomes: how much GA is too much GA?
What are your winter doldrum remedies?