How Do You Chase The Winter Blues?

It’s around this time of year that things just start to feel heavy. No one wants to go out. The social season hits a lull. The novelty of snow has gone from being charming to irritating. Your flights are delayed. Your skin is dry. Your pipes are frozen. Life. Sucks. And if you tell me to go to Sharper Image to get myself a light therapy box, I will slap you.

We know there’s not a lot to do to get around winter (save for moving to a tropical climate) and most of the ideas people start throwing around this time of year is stuff you know you won’t do or something so corny (like putting up a picture of a beach in your cubicle), it wouldn’t even fool a 5-year-old. So here are some of our slightly less conventional ideas to get out of that seasonal funk. Share your own in the comments below.

  1. If you’re in a metropolitan area, try to find a hammam (Turkish bath). A visit includes lounging in a steam bath until your skin is soft enough for an intense exfoliation. Kind of gross, but satisfying to see the mound of gray residue that comes off your body. You can do a DIY version in a steam room with a coarse loofah.
  2. Make margaritas your cocktail of choice. Gather up a group of people for a make-your-own burrito night, or find the cheesiest Mexican restaurant in town.
  3. Bikram yoga. Yoga in a hot room isn’t for everyone, but some get seriously addicted, and it gives your muscles and body the intense heat they’re craving.
  4. Sign up for a short-term class (one of our editors is taking a running class). It will give you something to put on your calendar every week, and force you out of the house.
  5. Deny, deny, deny: get ice cream cones at Ben & Jerry’s and gorge like it’s July.
  6. Go through your closet and begin thinking about what you want to buy for spring.
  7. Finally start that book club with friends.
  8. Go see an exhibit at a bright and airy museum. (Culture! Yay!)
  9. Start a new eating plan—it’ll occupy your alone time with cooking and make you feel like you’re doing something positive. Even though you will drop it three weeks later. No biggie.
  10. Give in (just a little). Stop berating yourself for spending weekends in bed with the last season of “Lost,” or forcing yourself to do something. What’s wrong with being a little lazy from time to time?