winter blahs

It’s winter, which means it is cold and it’s only getting colder. I’d rather be indoors where it’s warm unless I have to drag my butt up to campus for a variety of responsibilities. Being stuck indoors on dark dreary days can be somewhat depressing. The good news is that there are definite ways to deal with it!Here are my top eleven tips for beating the winter blahs:

1. Work Out! I cannot stress this one enough. Seriously, working out has been proven to boost one’s mood and have an overall positive impact on your day to day activities. Do anything you can to get that heart rate up for at least 30 minutes a day. Your body and your friends will thank you.

2. Bake. Personally, after a long, stressful day, baking a batch of whole grain blueberry muffins will instantly put me in a better mood. It is my ultimate stress reliever and definitely helps me beat the winter blahs. Friends will also reap the benefits of this one!

3. Watch a movie in a warm bed with a cup of tea. Currently, it is 7:45am and I am sitting in a lecture hall waiting for class to start and I would much rather be in bed, watching a Joseph Gordon-Levitt film, and sipping on a cup of jasmine green tea. Damn.

4. Visit a farmer’s market. Most farmers’ markets are open rain or shine and are boasting of fresh veg, fruit, breads, and samples. Invite a friend and make a date out of it. It is also awesome seeing all the beautiful flowers! On that note…

5. Buy yourself some flowers! I absolutely love seeing a fresh bouquet of flowers on my desk, in my bathroom, on the kitchen table, everywhere. When it’s rainy and cold outside and the plants are struggling to stay vibrant and colorful, fresh flowers will always make me happy.

6. Get dressed. I know that on the days where I actually put some effort into my outfit choices and I wear something other than leggings and a sweatshirt, I feel better because I actually “tried” to look good. It would put a little pep in your step.

7. Make a pot of soup. I love love love to make a large pot of chili, veggie soup, or lentil soup and eat it on those cold winter days. I think that there are very few things as satisfying as a huge bowl of vegetarian chili topped with cheddar cheese, greek yogurt, and onion. Yum.

8. Eat the rainbow! Load up on fresh fruits and vegetables for an instant energy boost. Frozen fruits and veggies are great options too. I’ll put a bunch of frozen blueberries in my steaming oatmeal and I’m set for the day.

9. Discover new music. Finding new artists and songs instantly brightens my day. This is a really simple trick, but will seriously make even the dreariest of days brighter.

10. Get organized. I love re-organizing the kitchen and my bedroom when I want to be productive and secretly enjoy it too. I have found that when my life feels a bit more organized and put together I am stoked no matter what the weather is.

11. Get cozy at a coffee shop. This is one of my favorites. Fortunately, Santa Cruz is filled with tons of mom and pop coffee joints that are often filled with artwork, live music, and delectable baked goods. My personal recommendation is the Abbey in Santa Cruz. They have a drink called Bowl of Soul which is tea steeped with frothy soy milk and honey. So good.

Did I already say work out? Do it. ENDORPHINS! Oh and don’t forget to SMILE!

-K

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