Fighting the Winter Blahs

January 10, 2010

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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.

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Evan @ 40Tech
    Jan 10, 2010 @ 20:15:32

    Oh man, winter is great! The cold can be tough, but there are things to do that can’t be done other times of the year. I typically get 20-30 days of skiing in every winter, and feel sorry for my friends who say there is nothing to do in the winter. We also just spent an hour tobogganing this afternoon, and had a blast. I love baseball, too, but I usually get the winter itch some time around August.


  2. kosmo
    Jan 10, 2010 @ 23:43:01

    A comment from my chiropractor made me think about my snow blower comment. I was thinking that I had suffered two injuries related to snow shoveling in the last few years.

    That is incorrect. I suffered one shoveling injury. There was another winter injury, but that was a time when I slipped on the steps and grabbed a railing on my way down (causing damage to my shoulder). Ownership of a snowblower would not have prevented this injury.

    Then there’s the Spiderman incident where I was clinging to the roof with one hand and trying to nail trim back into place (after a wind storm). But we don’t talk about that. Suffice it to say that I’m not as young as I think I am.

    In each case, Doc did a great job of getting me back to full strength.


  3. Evan @ 40Tech
    Jan 11, 2010 @ 20:12:50

    I think I will have to call you Griswold for now on, after your Spiderman incident.

    I bought a snow blower years ago, when I had a corner lot with lots of sidewalk space all around, but it has come in handy a few times even after I moved. I was thankful for it during the 20 inch storm we just had, and a few years ago it even helped me to get “unstranded.” Back in 2003, after selling my house and before buying the one I’m in now, I rented a house that was in woods back a country lane. My landlord plowed it after storms, but back in the Blizzard of 2003 he was a no-show (I later learned that his plow broke while plowing himself out). After 2 days of being snowed in and unable to get out to the main roads (even with an SUV), I trudged through waste-high snowdrifts to the garage at the edge of the property where my snowblower had been in storage since my move, and held my breath as I tried to start it for the first time in ages. To my surprise and relief, it started. I then had a blast for the next hour or so, clearing the long lane with a snowblower.
    .-= Evan @ 40Tech´s last blog ..The Impending Death of Apple’s App Store? =-.


  4. Martin Kelly
    Jan 13, 2010 @ 16:37:39

    SHOVELLING!!! That is what I have teenage sons for. Actually, shoveling can be fun. It is exercise without having to go to a gym and there is nothing better than coming inside to a nice warm fire in the fireplace and a cup of hot chocolate waiting for you.

    Obviously, you have never lived in the south where there is no true winter. Winter is when the bugs die. For that to happen, it needs to be cold, really cold. I also strongly believe that spring would be a terrible season with all the rain and mud if it were not for winter making us want any color than white in our yards! Just this week I got excited about “warming up” to 30 degrees F.


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