Chicago has a long-term relationship with disgusting weather. Now, granted, this winter’s weather is an immense improvement from last year. We have yet to reach -50ºF wind chills, thank goodness. However, this dreary, cloudy, overcast weather is quite a bummer. It makes doing even the simplest tasks a trial and severely diminishes the motivation and work ethic of all. This is not my first year dealing with such foul weather. Last year, Chicago became a Polar Vortex for four months, and I am from Chardon, Ohio, the snowbelt of northeast Ohio. Regardless, no amount of experience with nasty weather prepares you for the dull and dismal sensation of winter.
I have developed a couple of tricks that help deal with the overwhelming blanket of grayness that comes with a Chicago winter. They will not make winter go away, but hopefully they will make the sun appear to shine more frequently!
• Get enough sleep! Sleep is essential anytime of the year, but when the gray skies threaten to make everyone drowsy, a base of good slumber can never hurt.
• Find a good playlist. Music defeats the blues anytime, anywhere. An upbeat, catchy accumulation of songs will make it seem like a party in July.
• Treat Yo’ Self. The quote taken from the wonderful show Parks and Recreation reminds us that there is nothing wrong with splurging on a special thing every now and then. Whether that is a massage or a pedicure, the treat will feel extra special in this dreary weather.
• Watch Netflix. Yes, that’s right. I am saying that it is alright to watch a movie or binge watch a new TV show. This is not something that should be done frequently, but sometimes, a mindless activity like Netflix-ing is all that is needed to give your mood a boost.
• Surround yourself with loved ones. Whether it is friends or family, loving faces are sometimes all that is needed to improve your mood. Having a movie night, going out to dinner, or busting a rib from laughing are all phenomenal ways to spend time with those who matter the most.
Everyone has different tricks to help them cope with winter, but these are some of the ones that I find work pretty well. Winter is a very long season in Chicago, but hopefully, it will be springtime before we know it!