I really hate winter.  Let me count the ways.

  1. I hate cold weather.
  2. I miss the sun.
  3. Driving on ice sucks.
  4. I hate shoveling show.
  5. The winter sports pale in comparison to the grand sport of summer – baseball.

Thus, each winter, I typically bump into a bit of a case of the winter blahs.  During the last few years, I have found myself better equipped to fight it off.  How?  A couple of ways.

Mitigate the misery

Shoveling snow is a winter task that I hate.  I keep putting off the purchase of a snow blower for a few reasons.  First, I keep telling myself that the last few winters have been atypical, and that it really doesn’t snow in Iowa much.  Second, it seems that many times ice is the main culprit, and snow blowers don’t handle ice very well.  Third, they’re a bit pricey (although possibly cheaper than the chiropractor bills some years).

So, each year, I spend too much time outside in cold weather shoveling snow.  To make the experience a bit better, I grab my wireless headphones, fire up the downstairs DVR, and listen to one or two TV shows while I shovel (depending on the length of the show and the amount of snow).  Left to my own devices, I rarely watch non-sports TV, so this does give me a chance to catch up on the couple of shows that I care enough about to record.  In the last few weeks, I have greatly reduced my backlog of NCIS and The Office.  I grew up listening to baseball on AM radio for much of my entertainment, so I can get significant entertainment value out of a TV program even when the video portion is absent.

If you enjoy reading, winter can also be a good time to catch up.  The weather sucks for outdoor activities, so why not stay indoors a bit more.  If you’re looking for recommendations of some good authors, I have a list.

Set Intermediate Milestones

Years ago, I would sigh deeply when the first snowflakes hit the ground and start counting down the days until spring.  This made for a very long winter.  In the last few years, I have started to look forward to winter milestones.  This helps reduce the wait a bit by breaking it into manageable chunks.

A major milestone for me is the date that spring training begins.  This is mid-February each year – a full month (or more) before spring begins in the midwest.  However, when the first pitchers and catchers report to Florida and Arizona, I know that there will significant baseball news every day until November (my threshold for “significant baseball news” is probably a bit lower than most people’s.)

In 2010, there is another wonderful milestone – the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.  I absolutely love the Olympics.  At some point during the Olympics, I will know person details about athletes from dozens of countries from sports that I pay little attention to outside of the Olympics.  Then, of course, there is luge.  I fully intend to DVR ever possible bit of luge coverage in order to satisfy my desire for the sports for the next four years.

In closing, I would like to point out the fact that there is a big difference between a mere case of the winter blahs and the more serious condition of depression.  If you feel that you are experiencing depression, I urge you to seek proper medical attention, just as you would for any other ailment.

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Kosmo is the founder of The Soap Boxers and writes on a variety of topics. Many of his short stories have been collected into Kindle books.

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