“Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.” ~ Victor Hugo

I used to hate the winters here in Chicago. I still talk about them like I hate them because it makes for good comedy, me being from the Deep South where I did not even own a wool sweater!  I am cold here in the winter. All of the time.

“How cold are you, Cherilynn?”

I  get so cold at night I have to wear winter hats indoors.

My ex sister- in- law once exclaimed, “Are you going to sleep or are you going hunting?” when she saw me in all of my flannel gear. Exactly.

This cold-dark thing could kill a girl’s optimism, laughter and bounce. However, there is beauty and joy you CAN find in the winter. I decided one winter to find the upsides and to focus only on those to counter the winter blues. It worked. Here are the blues busters I recommend:

  1. Fill up on vitamin D and get sunlight however you can. I often get dressed in winter warrior wear and go for walks down by the lake. This ensures I get at least 15-20 minutes of sunshine. If you are indeed a seasonal affective disorder person, get one of those lights and let me know if it works. I have heard it does.
  2. Catch up on your reading or listen to fun music. If you don’t already have a winter listening list, make one. Fill it with upbeat music that has felt good from years past. You will smile.
  3. Use the yuckiness outside to accomplish something inside you have been procrastinating. Clean a closet; organize the garage. Do not wait for motivation. Just do it. You will feel so good afterward.
  4. Notice the beauty. Just because you have been told that cold, dark days are bad doesn’t make them so. There is beauty in the soft flakes of the first rain/snow. The world gets so quiet when the snow is cushioning sound. The trees stand tall and strong with their dark trunks, without the fluff of leaves blocking them. There are a few bird “hold-outs” that occasionally can be seen. Aren’t their stories intriguing? My sons and I go on architecture walks in the winter, and we try to pick out interesting details on all the houses and stores that we ordinarily run past.
  5. Enjoy activities you normally enjoy in the summer. I love swinging in the park with my kids.

Have you ever read the story by Ray Bradbury called All Summer In A Day? It is a book about a little girl named Margot who only gets to see the sun for a few minutes in her lifetime. However, the bullies decide to lock her in a closet at school when the sun finally shines. She never gets to see it. Poor thing. Find that sun.

Here’s an album by George Winston specifically for the winter. Enjoy.