After some wonderful fall weather, we have been experiencing cold, damp (or plain wet) weather. Everyone had to resign themselves to turn on the heat in the house. The leaves are putting an end to their colorful show. It's dark when we wake up. It's dark right after supper. And it won't get any better.
How to fight back? Especially when - depressing - memories of last year's winter creep in and arouse PTSD-like symptoms? Here are some possible strategies to make the most of the next six months.
Keep going outside. It can be intimidating, the cold, the dark, the windy, the damp. Still get out there. Spending some time under the fall-winter-spring sun can do wonders. If you stay long enough, maybe you will notice the unique beauties of the cold season: the last days of the fall, the birds that stay all year-round, the white powder that covers everything, the silence.
Try a winter sport: skiing, snowshoeing, ice skating, hockey, or simply playing in the snow. The idea is 1) to replenish your vitamin D - notably to prevent seasonal depression - you might even want to invest in light therapy; 2) to find ways to enjoy that unforgiving season.
Practice summer sports... indoors: swimming, tennis, badminton, basketball, soccer, etc. Work out in the gym. Sweat! It will make you forget how cold it actually is out there.
Walk and run. If you've been brisk walking or running regularly... keep at it. If you haven't, why not start now? Keeping fit and breathing some fresh air is sure to keep bad moods at bay.
Sleep. You might want to sleep more than you do in the summer. Human beings might need to "part time hibernate".
Engage in a creative activity such as drawing, painting, writing, making music, taking pictures (all photos on this post were taken after the last leaf has fallen and before the first tulip has appeared).
Indulge in cold weather pleasures such as bubble baths, warming up by a fireplace, wearing sweaters and scarfs or fleece PJs and slippers, reading tons of books, eating soup or fondue. Fuel up with good stuff, like lots of fruit and vegetables. Speaking of which: cook or bake. Have hot chocolate, chai tea, mulled wine, hot cider, eggnog and what not.
Do all the things you don't do during summer because it's ''Too darn beautiful outside'': visit museums and libraries and movie theaters and restaurants and cafes.
Feel grateful that you don't need to cover up in sunscreen or bug spray, mow the lawn, garden.
Travel: if your time and money allow for it, go down south for a welcome break from the dreadful weather.
Any other strategies to suggest?