Ways to beat the winter blues
After the lights have stopped twinkling and the Christmas trees have moved from our living rooms to the grounds of city parks, New Yorkers face yet another winter. January brings plummeting temperatures and rip-roaring winds to the city that never sleeps, and I dread it every year. With so little daylight and so much cold, the winter blues are almost a given.
By the time February rolls around – as I’ve done for the past five or six winters – I contemplate moving to a warmer climate with more sunshine and milder days. Yes, even I, as much as I love New York City, wonder if I can hack yet another frigid three months. This winter will be my 13th in NYC, and I’d like to say they get easier, but I’d be lying.
Honestly, winters in New York are tough. They’re cold, dark, often cloudy, and not nearly as social as the other three seasons. Most of us live in apartments, so even on the brightest days we don’t get much natural light, but winter days are especially dreary when the sun sets as early as 4:30 or 5:00 in the afternoon. New Yorkers huddle inside where their compact living quarters provide a toasty refuge. Or, they break out of hiding as a result of cabin fever, only to shop for necessities at the corner bodega, dine in their favorite restaurant, or grab a beer at the corner pub.
Some only get a glimpse of daylight first thing in the morning before ducking into the subway, or for a few moments running through Midtown to a meeting. To thrive, humans need more than a quick flash of the sun’s rays each day, and eventually, the lack of Vitamin D takes its toll. Hence, why we need to create ways to beat the winter blues every year.
As I try to remain positive, keep my energy up, and stay on task, I count the days until I get a peek at spring, which in NYC doesn’t necessarily mean sunshine, blooming tulips, and chirping robins. Our winters can last through March and even into early April, but once spring hits, it’s absolutely glorious.
|Dreaming of spring tulips already?|
It’s not spring, but mid-January, and we’ve just gotten started. This winter, no matter how bone-chilling and never-ending, I’ve resolved to get through it with grace, and perhaps even enjoy it a little bit, which is why I put together a list of ways to beat the winter blues this season.
Experiment in the kitchen.
Move over, Martha. Since I tend to stay in more during winter, cooking becomes one of my pastimes. Saturday nights are ideal for trying a new recipe, and then hopefully eating it after spending several hours slaving away in the kitchen. (And if it’s inedible, there’s always delivery.)
Manicure. Pedicure. A day of shopping inside (think the Time Warner Building). A bubble bath. Taking time for myself and doing something out of the ordinary will not only make me feel better about the cold weather, but better about myself. I get pedicures regularly from April through November, but since I keep my tootsies covered December through March, I skip the salon. This winter, I’ll splurge at least once, which will not only make my feet pretty, but surely lift my mood as well.
Invite friends over for cocktails.
Winter is the perfect season to entertain inside my cozy New York apartment. All I need to do is throw some dates out to friends and get a night scheduled. My bar is well stocked, so get ready everyone – and come thirsty, ready to imbibe at my place!
See a new exhibit.
A stop at the Museum of the City of New York, MoMA or the Guggenheim could be just what the doctor ordered. Indoor cultural activities appeal to me most on cold or rainy days, so this time of year encourages me to venture out to see a new exhibit. January is ideal for museum-going, don’t you think?
Take a trip somewhere (anywhere) warmer.
The past several years, I’ve escaped winter weather for Barbados, Costa Rica, and last year, Nicaragua. Even a few days of intense heat and sun readies me to tackle the remainder of winter in New York.
Embrace the season.
Finally, as trying as these frosty months can be in New York, wintertime brings opportunities to don sweaters, boots, scarves, and other cold-weather paraphernalia. I vow to forage deep into my closet and pull some of my favorite yet forgotten wearables to the front so I can change up my wardrobe, and maybe even put together a few new looks. I almost have to remind myself how much I love winter fashion.
How do you plan to beat the winter blues?
And a winter packing list so you’re geared up for the cold in NYC!