Winter Doldrums

January 22, 2009 at 3:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Having a rocky winter - ah-HA!

Having a rocky winter - ah-HA!

When I was in my high school Earth Science class, we learned that while these days, “doldrums” usually refers to a boring period of time or a feeling of listlessness, the Doldrums are technically a part of the ocean where there isn’t much wind, and boats often find themselves wallowing there, peeling potatoes and dancing around in flamenco costumes – what do you mean, the Muppets aren’t a proper representation of seamen (careful there) in the nineteenth century?! Surely you jest!

Either way, a doldrum is not something pleasant to experience. I have found myself increasingly dismayed at being smack dab in the  middle of winter – around here, January and February are the coldest months of the year, and while it’s still a bit unnaturally warm for the season, the thermometer has been straining to crest twenty degrees Fahrenheit, and almost every sinlge day has been flecked with snow flurries for almost a week. I find myself huddled on couches or in beds until absolutely necessary,  loading up on the heavy, bulky winter clothing (“I can’t put my arms down!!”), and scurrying from the warm car to warm buildings, practically racing the chilling winds. I hate it – this is no way to live!

You know what I miss? SPRING!! And summer too! Fresh fruit and veggies, lots of sun to nap in, being able to leave the house without a jacket or even a sweater. But, just because the weather may be decidedly frightful, that doesn’t mean you should be as well! Here are some of my tips for lifting yourself out of the winter doldrums:

  • Eat lots of veggies. Red and yellow vegetables epecially are good for your immune system. No, they aren’t in season around here, and yes, I do try and eat as locally as possible, but sometimes you have to do what’s best for yourself. Buy organic if possible. I just made myself a delicious salad of romaine lettuce, cucumbers, red bell pepper, and edamame (soy beans) with Newman’s Own Low-Fat Sesame-Ginger dressing and holy cow, am I feeling better. I had been sluggish after eating only a piece of frozen pizza around two PM and now I am wide awake and looking for something exciting to do.
  • Exercise. Apparently hula-hooping is gaining in popularity, and though I’ve never been good at it myself, I can definitely see how it would fit into a winter work-out routine. Also look into yoga, for the  physical as well as spiritual affects. Exercise is very important, especially during the winter: it keeps your blood flowing and your mood up, as well as keeping you off the couch chomping chips!
  • Experiment with food! Just because most things aren’t in season right now in many places, that doesn’t mean nothing is in season ANYWHERE! My area has a high Latin American population, so we have so many interesting vegetables around the supermarket from that area of vhe world. Normally I stay away from them out of fear and ignorance, but I’ve decided to become more adventurous. I even bought a jicama today! What’ll I do with it? Who knows! So psyched.
  • Pay attention to the weather. I found myself driving through a blizzard a few days ago to go drop something off to  one of my jobs, and the normally twenty minute at most drive took me 45 minutes. It is not good. Get dressed up and spend a snowy or rainy day taking photos of yourself baking cookies or talk on the phone with your friends or get lost in Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns.
  • Shop! It lifts your spirits and builds your wardrobe. Hit your local Forever 21, infamous for having gorgeous loliables, or troll the sales community. I did this a few days ago and ended up with a BABY cutsew, used but in beautiful condition, for an incredibly reasonable price. And it’s part of my New Year’s resolution! Just always make sure you keep track of your spending – despite inquiring after three different pieces, I realized I just didn’t have the money right then to buy all of them and apologized to the sellers, telling them I’d check back in a few weeks to see if the items were still available. I desperately need more nice tops that can be used in or out of lolita, but rent must absolutely always come first, and I need to make sure I have enough extra for food and flat tires!
  • Play in the snow! Put on your boots and bunny earmuffs and go make a snowman, snow angels, snow balls. As long as it has snow in the name, do it! Always avoid yellow bits 🙂
  • Sew! I have a long list of projects that really really need to get finished. Among them are an adorable ruffled pink strawberry skirt, a take-off of AP’s present skirt with said strawberry fabric as the ribbons, as well as some hair accessories and embroidery projects.
  • Discover new music. For a modern but still lolita feel I recommend the Decemberists or Emilie Simon, and of course there’s always Chopin and Mozart – I think it’s important for anyone who is the slightest bit intersted in lifestyle lolita or music to get at least a little exposure to classical music.
  • Lay in the snow for a while. Don’t get sick, but afterwards come inside and have tea and crumpets.
  • If it’s not snowy where you are (or if you’re in the southern hemisphere and envy my fluffy white yard!) make paper snowflakes and hang them everywhere. I’ve recommended this before and I will continue to do so, as paper snowflakes are the bestbestbest!
  • Always stay cheerful. Don’t let being stuck inside get the best of you. Find a way to enjoy it – whether that means curling up with a book by the fire or having a baking and hot cocoa party with friends. Smile! Enjoy the cold breeze, in a few months you’ll miss it!

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