The Winter Blues

This long sloooow march through the colder months often saps my spirits and ambition (cue The Dream Academy’s Life in a Northern Town).  It is much easier to spring out of bed when the sun’s rays embrace us early.  I am sharing a short list of things that carry me through the winter doldrums, and would love to know what works for you, too.

1) Coffee.  Coffee.  And more coffee.  I tried to give it up once and lasted until 10:30am.  Some things we must accept about ourselves and that I need coffee to survive is, for me, one of them.

2) My Quoddy Twin Strap Shearling Boots.  Gorgeous they are not, but let’s be honest, neither are Uggs.  And these are made by hand in Maine, and guaranteed for life.

3) Flowers.  I almost always have them on my bedside table and in the foyer.  An instant mood lifter, fresh bouquets or potted bulbs (loving fragrant hyacinth right now) are a reminder that things will, indeed, turn green again.

4) Regularly scheduled workouts with friends.  Again, it’s easy to jump out of bed and throw on your running shoes when you don’t have to layer up and freeze your way through the first half mile.  When I’m tempted to throw the covers back over my head and skip it, I won’t when I know there is someone counting on me for motivation, too.

5) Casual, intimate dinner parties.  I love hosting laid back dinners in winter, when no one feels like going out.  There is nothing better than sitting elbow to elbow with good friends over a rustic meal, then cozying up around the fire place for great wine, dessert, and conversation. (And yes, I actually baked that apple pie pictured below.)

6) My evening glass of wine.  Okay, if we are being completely honest with each other, this ritual occurs during all seasons.  But in the winter it is always red.

So tell me, what brings you pleasure throughout the cold season?

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12 thoughts on “The Winter Blues

  1. I agree, sticking to those winter workouts is essential. I have actually taken to embracing the early morning darkness. I find that when I walk into the the health club and it is still dark, I feel like I am fighting the good fight. When I walk out, daylight is upon me and I know I have won! I also seem to have more patience with my kids as I get them off to school!

    A warm fire, a glass of wine, spicy conversation with close friends and good music, separately, but especially all together, warm my winter soul and spirit.

    I also find that in the winter, I have more “fun” times with my girls. We snuggle up and watch movies, play games by the fire, go get pedicures or go do a family workout together. In the warmer weather, they always seem to be on the go with their friends. The years are passing by quickly, and I am holding these moments close to my heart!

  2. I’d have to second the evening glass of red during the colder months, but in my case it usually means 2 glasses. Also, although far less romantic than fresh flowers or wine by the fire with friends, I don’t know how I ever survived without seat heaters in my car!

  3. A bright red cardinal on a snow fallen branch, the crunch of snow along my favorite path, the quiet after a new fallen snow, hot green tea, red wine after dark, children all snuggled at home cozy in front of the fire, meeting with friends, planning a trip to somewhere sunny and warm. Taking a nap. Sunshine.

  4. For someone who is usually cold even in the summer, winter can be particularly difficult for me. I cannot live without my Ugg slippers. They make me and my feet very happy. I am also very thankful for my car. When searching for my latest vehicle, the salesman had me at “heated steering wheel.” That, along with the heated seats and auto start to warm my car before I get in it definitely help. I love breaking out my comfy, warm sweaters when the winter months set in. Flannel sheets keep me cozy at night, especially when I first get into bed. The enormous box of hand warmers from Costco is also a must.

    Other things that help me through the winter season…. Fires in the fireplace, almost daily. Curling up on the couch with my Labradoodle, and my husband. Doing a large, challenging puzzle with the whole family, even if it takes us weeks to complete. Plans with friends make me feel less like I’m hibernating. Baking and the warmth of the yummy smells.

  5. Watching my usually lethargic moose of a dog bounce like a puppy through a fresh snow.
    Baileys caramel on the rocks.
    Game night with friends.
    Warm bed on a freezing night.
    Darkness at 4pm- for this one I have mixed emotions- I just like the fact that I’m at work and didn’t miss out on a gorgeous day.
    Sound of said dog crunching on snow like he hasn’t eaten in days.
    Eggnog lattes.

  6. I don’t really get the winter blahs. Winter is my only downtime and I need it. Spring is so busy with work and the farm, summer with the farm and family, fall with the farm and hunting…winter is the only time I can sit for a time, if I like.

    I love the fireplace. Playing with the kids in the snow (when we get any snow). My guitars. Iain and I sing a lot–he loves Elvis Costello songs as much as I do. I have more time to cook proper food in winter–pot roasts, roasted chickens, bread and desserts.

    Mostly I just recharge during winter for the nine crazy months to come.

  7. Let’s be clear that I live in north Florida where the lows hit the 30’s only once or twice a year and it is therefore, completely unfair that I put in my 2 cents…but I’ve lived on the up side of Mason-Dixon most of my life, so what the hell:

    Apple Brandy, bonfires on the beach, multiple government holidays that create 4 day weekends, military issue wool blankets, radiators (I actually like all the racket because it reminds me of the ship), the most incredible stillness in the world when snow falls, peanut butter and bacon on toast during a break from snow shoveling, and chamomile with honey.

    1. Thank you, Kathleen! As you know, she was the master of improvisation and never measured anything. One of my favorite memories is of my mother taking take each pie crust ingredient out of the bowl after my grandmother put it in so that she could measure it and write it down for us. I treasure the recipe, but it somehow never tastes quite as good as when she made it!

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