The 5 Stages Of Winter Insanity (In GIFs!)

In the dog days of winter, it’s a feat to maintain any semblance of the sanity that you take for granted the other three seasons. Although on December 21st, you may convince yourself that this year will be different, by the end of January, you’ll most likely be flipping off snowmen and telling anyone who will listen how long it takes you to thaw out your extremities. And don’t even get us started on how greasy your hair will become once you stop washing it because it’s “too damn cold.” Insanity brought on sub-zero temperatures is its own special brand of crazy. Here’s what you should expect:

1. Disbelief. It’s not that cold out, you think to yourself, despite vast evidence to the contrary. You convince yourself it’s going to be an “extra warm” winter. You wear your leather jacket and ankle boots, certain that it will keep you warm enough, even though the news tells you it will be freezing. Because  you’re immune to the chill. Your warm state of mind is strong enough to overpower the plummeting external temperatures. Even if you feel a shiver coming on, you stifle it for your pride’s sake and pretend that it’s one of your signature dance moves.

2. Hesitant Acceptance Of Reality. OK, maybe it’s not quite as warm as you thought it was. Even when you imagine yourself on a beach in Mexico like one of those monks who can slow down their own heart rate using only concentration, you can’t help but shiver. You dig your gloves out of the closet and  It starts to sink in that it really is winter, and summer is so, so, so far away.

3. Obsession. Not only can you not hold your cold in anymore, you want EVERYONE to know how much you’re suffering. You start every conversation with “Oh my God, it’s so fucking cold!” Upon entering any building, you make a big show of how difficult it is to get warm, and the onerous ordeal you just went through outside. You dramatically stretch the word “brrrrr” into 5 or 6 syllables. and slowly remove your layers for effect. Your phone starts ringing a little less. You wonder why.

4. Victimization. Also known as the “this weather is fucking unacceptable” stage. You begin to view the low temperatures as a personal affront. You feel persecuted and helpless. You find yourself constantly fixated on all the ways the weather is ruining your life. You one-up anyone who complains about how cold they are, insisting that you are colder. You begin to suffer from paranoia and anhedonia. Every time you step outside, you scream. When you see a snowman, you give it the finger.

5. Hibernation. It’s at this point that you resign yourself to the awful weather, and begin to literally transform into a bear. You rarely leave the house, preferring instead to cuddle with a hot water bottle. Your fleece leggings become a stinky, second skin. You wear your Uggs in public, even though you swore they were just “around the house” shoes. You stop washing your hair because it’s too cold when you get out of the shower, and you drop the rest of your savings on a pair of massive fur-lined boots that you’ll only be able to wear for 2 weeks. You keep the oil heat cranked to 85 even though you’re an environmentalist. You consider starting a bonfire in your living room. You turn your bed into a cave and only leave it for emergencies.