Wednesday, December 15, 2010

winter blues

I think a lot of people tend to get bummed out during the winter. I know I definitely do. I don't know if it's because it's cold and dreary outside, the loss of extra sunlight AKA Seasonal Affective Disorder, being couped up inside because of bad weather, or because the holidays can be stressful and overwhelming. It's probably a combination of these things.

Add to this the fact that we are triathletes, we're used to spending tons of time outside in minimal clothing, and many of us tend to have that ever-so-wonderful Type A personality.

Winter can get rough.

In order to combat the "winter blues" I have compiled a list of things that I like to do to cheer myself up! I used to go shopping.. but that is just bad news for my bank account so I don't do that anymore.

  • First things first, I force myself to do my workouts. Even if there's 2 feet of snow on the ground, I go to the gym and do my swim. I try to run outside when possible but there's always the treadmill. And winter is really the time to embrace the trainer! Even if it's freezing out and all I want to do is lay on the couch under a pile of blankets, I FORCE myself to workout because I know it will make me feel better, and not working out will make me feel fat, lazy, and guilty!

  • Another super important thing for me is to make time to see my friends. I live alone, and I have a tendency to be a shut in. I don't know if it's because I'm an introvert or what, but sometimes it's such a hassle to leave my apartment. And I HATE messing with my routine. (So you know I love you if I make an effort to see you!). I chat on the phone a few times a week with a few friends. I have one friend that I do a dinner date with pretty often, I have another friend that I do some workouts with, or I'll go see a movie with someone. Nothing crazy, just enough to satisfy my craving for human interaction!

  • When I was in grad. school in Syracuse (hello, horrible winters), I would come home after class/TAing/working on grad. school stuff, light some Nag Champa incense (yes, I'm a hippie) and attempt to do the Daily Orange crossword puzzle. I finished it ONCE (with the help of my 2 undergrad. TAs). I don't have a daily crossword anymore BUT I still like to light my incense and/or candles to chill out.

  • Drink hot chocolate. I like to make it with milk instead of water. It's warm, delicious, it has marshmallows, and it's still less calories than a giant Hershey's bar!

  • I pop in a TV show that I have on DVD (The Office, Friends, and GLEE are 3 of my mood lifters) or a movie (the LOTR trilogy is a favorite for crappy winter days because it's super long and I totally get sucked into it and wind up wishing that I was a hobbit living in Middle-earth, or that I could get married to Aragorn because he is HOT, and the King of Gondor!!!). <-- I am a nerd.

  • I curl up in some blankets, with my cat, and I read a book. I love to read. Hence the Kindle that I want for Christmas (hint hint to my parents).

  • Clean. I hate cleaning, but I like how my apartment looks when I'm done. Sometimes I play some Lady Gaga and dance around my apartment while I am cleaning. Or I'll just dance around to Lady Gaga for the hell of it!
Um, so this is probably what everyone else does too.. not very original. Workouts - increase endorphins. Seeing loved ones - makes us happy. Watching happy things on TV - makes us happy. Comfort food - makes us happy. I am sensing a pattern. Anyone have anything weird that they do?


  1. You stole my post! haha! I was about to write a uber ranting post about how much winter sucks and how its not the cold that pisses me off, but its the dark mornings that piss me off.

    Ok, enough ranting here ;)

    I am seriously considering quitting my job and moving to San Diego to become a homeless triathlete because it is 72 degrees year round down there!

  2. Winter sucks for us and we get an extreme case of cabin fever, my going out while its nice is group rides, pretty bad for normal people but is completely normal us. BUT i did go see a movie in an actual movie threatre last weekend, last on before that was Transformers.

  3. OMG! I am so with Jon...I did a monster search for jobs in San Diego a few weeks ago....just to see :)

    I agree and I think I've even said it on my blog. We are used to being outside and half clothed and we feel completely shut down & purposeless this time of year. So many people have told me to take up xc skiing or snowshoeing! I don't need another hobby and I'm plenty busy training for IM. I don't need a new hobby, I need weather that let's me do the one I've already chosen!

    Ugh - 17 inches of snow last weekend and other 6 on the way tonight here. They haven't been able to get all the snow off the streets so I've spentthe time I should be training driving the last 2 nights (25 min commute = almost 2 hours!) and the time I should be relaxing training.

  4. I reached the same conclusion about using shopping to combat the winter blues... way too harmful on the bank account!

    I do a lot of the same stuff you mentioned... planning fun stuff with local friends, planning weekend visits with not-so-local friends, house cleaning/organizing projects, etc. I LOVE skiing though, so at least I have that to look forward to at this time of year.


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