How to Make the Winter Less Blue

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Well, we’re right in the think of winter and chalked full of grey days with little to no sunshine. How to you keep yourself from crawling into bed and waiting for spring? I’d say reading this blog is a pretty good start. Right, more steps.

Change of Scenery

I’m not talking about taking a trip (although, if you can, I highly recommend it). I’m simply referring to getting your butt off the couch and going somewhere. Anywhere. Sitting by yourself and wallowing in the dark gross day is not going to help you. Where do you go? I recommend going where other people are. However, if you’re not an extrovert like myself, this may not be very beneficial. Plunk yourself down at a coffee shop or a book store with a bunch of people (you don’t have to talk to).

Bring the People to You

I find one of the hardest things about the winter months, is forcing myself to go out into the cold world and do things. Well, have I got a solution for you. Don’t do it. Bring the event to you. Throw a dinner party or a movie night or whatever type of low-key, low maintenance event you prefer. I also suggest inviting people that can bring things and/or are frequently known to bring hostess gifts.

Plan Events to Attend

The easiest way to force yourself to socialize with the world is to put it in the calendar. If it’s booked (and you already paid for a ticket of some kind), you’re more likely to go. If you wait for the weekend to arrive before you start thinking of what to do, chances are, the planning will appear to difficult and you’ll settle for a sweat pants party for one.

Preparation is Key

Buy yourself a good winter coat. One that goes past your butt and will keep you warm even if you’re sitting in a cold place. I also like to keep a small blanket in my car to keep me warm until Ole Betsy warms up. I’ve also found that once I finally spring for a warm coat or a good pair of boots, it starts to get warmer and I have less need for them…

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2015: If There’s An Art Gallery Party, I’ll Be There.

Happy-New-Year-2015Just when you thought you were done with New Years Resolution posts, I swoop in and sneak mine in under the wire. Yes, this is under the wire. I was never really one to make resolutions. I thought it was kind of dumb to wait for January to change and improve your life. I also didn’t think I was capable of change. I’m actually quite rigid (see previous post). I’m one of those weird creatures of habit who’d rather do something boring and familiar than jump out on a limb and possibly experience something great. The fear of the unknown is real people!

So, I continued letting January (and the other 11 months) pass by without trying to figure out what I needed to fix in my life.  I figured, you can’t improve on perfection, right? If you think something should change, maybe it’s you! Down with New Years Resolutions…but I digress. Then last year happened. Last New Years, I decided to make some changes. I decided to stop wishing I had a better life and started living one.

Thing I did #1: No More Sugar (Sort of)

I cut out most of the food in my life that taste good. I know, doesn’t that sound fun? Yeah…it was super hard (case and point), but I powered through (with a little help from some very knowledgeable and supportive friends) and I lost 15lbs. Yeah, 15lbs!! I even ventured into the scary part of the gym, the one with the pumped up dudes checking themselves out in the mirror. It’s really not that hard to work out around them.

Thing I did #2: Books, Books, and More Books!

I’m reading more books. I used to fill my shelves with books I’d like to read. However, I rarely picked one up, let alone read it all the way to the end before getting distracted by another new book. Not anymore. I generally gravitate more towards the autobiographies/ collection of humorous, personal essays rather than the deep “War and Peace” types. Maybe one day I’ll get there. Baby steps.

Now What?

This year, I not only want to stick with these new changes, but I want to keep going. I’d like to fill my life with more cultural experiences. I want to watch more critically acclaimed movies (films?), read more books, and go to more cultural events. Art galleries have parties too, right? So, stay tuned for artsy Instagrams and blogs about my cultural adventures.

What are your New Years resolutions? Let me know in the comments below.

As Roughing It As It Gets (For Me)

IMG_0464Roughing-it really brings out your true self. Me, I’m not much of a camper. Don’t get me wrong, I have camped before. I did the whole sleeping in a tent, living like the wild thing. I even portaged. Mind you, I also managed to tip the canoe, knocking everyone’s stuff in the water. I think they learned a valuable lesson in survival.

I’m more of a cottager. In the summer, my family spends most of our weekends up at the cottage. Although many people envision a cottage as a luxurious summer home on the lake, ours is not quite like that. It’s a little more rustic than most. We do have indoor plumbing, but it’s not clean water. And with the laughable water pressure in the shower, you’re better off washing your hair in the lake.

As a kid, my siblings, my cousins, and I would play in the water all day, inventing creative ways to jump/ fall into the water. We’d play hide and seek, which is quite the challenge when you’re on an island. Now a days, our cottaging experience is a little different. We still play board games, but most of the time, we’re on our phones. When it rains, it thunders. When it thunders, it’s only a matter of time before your all sitting in a dark room. During the brink of every power outage, the first words out of anyone’s mouth are, “Charge your phones!” That, and, “Eat all the ice cream!” Seriously, you can’t have ice cream go to waste. If that’s not roughing it, I don’t know what is.

Good thing we still have the lake water to keep us grounded.

Oh You Know, Just Thinking About The Meaning Of Life

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The other day I was thinking about the deeper meaning of life (as I often do) and I had a thought. Our society is filled with messages promoting self love. Although I believe that it’s important to take care of yourself and to protect ourselves from those who might take advantage, maybe we shouldn’t be so focused on putting ourselves first.

Hear me out. Life is short, but it’s also too short to screw it up for someone else. We focus too much on ourselves and what we could be missing out on, but what about others? Maybe our “screw the world” and “seize the day” moments will change someone else’s life forever, maybe not for the better. Maybe we’ve been looking at this all wrong… Lets not step on others because we only have one life to live. How about we use the gift of life to love those around us. Challenge accepted. What about you?