Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Ten Ways to Beat the Winter Blues

Have you entered my giveaway yet? :) Only 3 more days!

It's disgusting out, as usual. I know you're all probably tired of reading my whiny complaints with regards to the weather but it's so easy to feel the winter blues when everything is gray and gloomy. Because of this, I have decided to dedicate my Ten Things Tuesday to ten ways to get rid of the winter blues; simple, easy ways to make that gray and gloomy winter a little more enjoyable. :)

1. Cook more.
Now I know this one may not apply to people who actually cook all the time but as a college student, I find myself grabbing a quick bite to eat ALL the time. I basically survive off of fast food. It's really difficult to find time to actually make something but my boyfriend and I are starting to make a habit out of cooking a little more often (which for me means once a week). Granted, we recently started this habit but I already like it. We went to the supermarket and bought stuff for meals we can make together and cooked that same night. (On a side note, I apologize for the quality of this picture. It was taken with my Itouch). I LOVED this dinner. It was simple and I just love how my boyfriend thinks he's a chef when we cook together. He cut up all the vegetables and even searched through all my cabinets to find matching bowls for the ingredients as if he were on a cooking show. What a dork.
We bought sirloin beef from the supermarket, orange peppers, red peppers, yellow peppers and baby carrots and prepared the meat with soy sauce, a little bit of salt, and a little bit of pepper. The rice came from a GOYA box where I added the rice to a pot of boiling water and let it simmer for 25-30 mins. Quick, easy, and delicious. I definitely cheated on the rice but hey, I'm a college student. If there's an easier way to cook rice, I'm definitely not taking the harder route.

2. Do winter activities
(Who says summer is the only season for fun? Go skiing, snowboarding, iceskating, have a snowball fight!)
While I was in DC last winter, we had a HUGE blizzard. They had names for it like Blizzaster, Snowmaggedon, I wish I was lying but it's true. I was stuck in my apartment for an ENTIRE WEEK because everything was shut down. Word spread around that Dupont Circle was having a snowball fight and 5,000 people showed up. Sadly, I was not one of them as I was stuck in Arlington, VA but I could only imagine how fun it must have been. 

3. Enjoy lots and lots of Hot Chocolate
 Image Source Unknown
Winter is the one season where having a ridiculous amount of hot chocolate is perfectly normal. Why not take advantage of it? I found an awesome, easy recipe online.
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 cup white sugar
1 pinch salt
1/3 cup boiling water
3 1/2 cups milk
 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup half-and-half cream
o   Combine the cocoa, sugar and pinch of salt in a saucepan. Blend in the boiling water. Bring this mixture to an easy boil while you stir. Simmer and stir for about 2 minutes. Watch that it doesn't scorch. Stir in 3 1/2 cups of milk and heat until very hot, but do not boil! Remove from heat and add vanilla. Divide between 4 mugs. Add the cream to the mugs of cocoa to cool it to drinking temperature. 
Only 310 calories, serves 4 people, and it's ready in 5-7 mins!

4. Catch up on some trashy TV or watch a marathon of your favorite TV shows.
I love love LOVE Criminal Minds, Law and Order SVU, or any show that deals with detectives so when it's freezing out and I have a free Saturday, I love just being in bed watching these shows for hours on end.

5. Give yourself something to look forward to
Image Source Unknown
For me it's B's Birthday, Valentine's Day, Spring Break, and Graduation! And I just planned a trip to visit my friend in Pittsburgh at the end of the month. I'm so excited to go. :)

6. Get more color into your wardrobe
Image Source
If you're anything like me, the winter blues have me wearing black and gray. I guess I feel like my clothes need to match the weather. I think it's underestimated just how much simply wearing a bright, happy color can impact how you feel.

7. Bond with those around you
(I apologize for how blurry this picture is. It was the only picture from that day where we weren't throwing paint on one another or making silly faces).
My roommates and I make excuses to hang out and see one another because we all have conflicting schedules. Because of this, we have designated days for hanging out and enjoying each others company like Wine Wednesday. With all this time you're going to spend indoors, you might as well catch up with the ones you hold dearest. Better yet, you can bond outside of your house as well. Do something like community service where you’ll feel good helping others and thus get you out of a funk. Sophomore year, my roommates and I participated by painting murals (our mural pictured above) in a school in Newark, NJ and it was so much fun. Granted, we had to wake up ridiculously early on a Saturday but it was well worth the trip.We got the gig through Jersey Cares, an awesome website where they tell you about all the community service projects that are going on. I believe every state has one but I'm not entirely sure. 

8. Enjoy as much light as you can
Image Source Unknown
Because of my hectic schedule, there will be days sometimes where I only see daylight for 2-3 hours. I now make myself wake up a little earlier and actually enjoy the day. It leads to more productivity as well. 

9. Snuggle/Cuddle
 Let's face it. Snuggling/cuddling is awesome and apparently, it's good for stress! Win, win.

10. If all else fails, put on a feel-good song and jump around! .... or retreat to your happy place if you're a little shy.
Hey, Soul Sister by Train has to be my favorite feel-good song. I can't help but dance when I hear the song.

Even compiling this list made my winter blues seem to go away a bit. What do you guys do to beat the winter blues?


Anonymous said...

I understand the way you feel about the weather, it's been awful over here as well!
I love your list! That hot chocolate is just mouthwatering! Points 9 and 10 are those I agree with the most! :D



Meagan said...

I love these tips. I need all the help beating the winter blues I can get. Turning on some music I love and dancing around is definitely at the top of my list of ways to stay upbeat and after that, making sure I wear something I love, regardless of the weather!

Omgitstiffduh said...

Like the tips! Very helpful!

Zarna said...

these are fabulous tips for beating the winter blues!!

thanks for sharing :)

Kat said...

hmm, what do i do? i eat vegan chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream. it's amazing.

and i really should start cooking more.. if you want to cook but need something quick, might i suggest gnocci? it cooks in boiling water in about two minutes.. then pour on the store prepared sauce, and ta-da! delicious. but NEVER eat them without lots of sauce. they taste like catfood on their own.. don't ask how i know.

Chelsea Lane said...

this is such a great post stefany! I LOVE dancing around to fun music ;) cooking is really fun too!


Stefany said...

That hot choc looks delicious!! Great tips :) x

lady_flower123 said...

The first picture: it looks so delicous!
The 2nd: I hate winter so winter activites too.
3.: I love hot chocolate!

Follow me if u want:
I'm following u now ;)
xoxo ;*

Ashley said...

lovvve these!!! cute blog! sorry you have the winter blues... i live in arizona :) so.... i don't have them ha!


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