Fighting SADness

Seriously! I know it’s still February, I know it’s technically the heart of winter and I know “back in your day”, the snow was as high as the power lines and you were jumping off the roof into the snow, yada yada yada. But listen Linda, this Game of Thrones backdrop is seriously dampening my outdoorsiness. I like snow – it’s soft and fun and pretty! But when it snows a gazillion feet and never actually warms up enough for the snow to melt, we are left with meters of compacted ice. Mix into that the arctic outflow and you have yourself a very unhappy ex-South African.

My blood runs warm with memories of sunny beaches, swimming pools, wine tastings, amphitheatres, picnics (also crime statistics, unsafe living conditions, political turmoil etc – but that’s beside the point). I miss warmth and sun and bare feet. I miss summer! And in recent years, with my new found love of running, I miss non-slippery surfaces.

But alas. It is what it is, so instead of blogging about my annoyance (oops, too late), I need a few distractions from the less than ideal outside. Here’s what I do:

Puzzles

Let me start by saying, that if you have little kids or cats, this one might not be for you. I have both. But I still attempted it. It wasn’t terrible, but I needed a bag of tricks for when the kids wanted to “help”. Their own puzzle on the table next to me was pretty successful.

Wine

Yes yes, while I don’t recommend guzzling down a bottle of $9 red, I really do love wine. As a child, I remember my dad having a rather impressive cellar at our house. An appreciation for good wine. Then I went to university in the heart of South African wine country where world-famous wine is produced (and consumed). So here’s what I like to do. Have GOOD wine, in a NICE glass. Pairing it with a great steak or a nice dark chocolate is also amazing. All of the above has amazing health benefits too (in small doses!).

Shopping

Kind of wishful thinking, I guess, but I like shopping for summery things to remind me that it is, in fact, coming. Sun hats, new shades, sundresses, bikinis, beach towels etc. Amazon is my go-to because unlike in Winners, I don’t have to tell my kids “no, we’re not buying a lollipop/Paw Patrol backpack/life-size horse stuffy” every 7.8 minutes.

Recipe Research

Planning my meals for the week or planning hypothetical back-yard parties for the summer. Looking at recipes on Pinterest or the occasional food post one of my friends makes on Facebook (especially my Portuguese/Italian/Indian friends – Hmmmmm, spices) gives me the inspiration to make delicious, healthy, budget-friendly meals for my family. Chances are my kids still won’t eat it, but hey, I tried. (Side note: My four-year-old has a new thing where she says: “I’ll be brave and eat my food”… Like I’m trying to poison her! Aggghhh kids!)

Self Care

Face masks, nail polish, bubble baths – that kind of DIY thing. But also, a message from a professional, lash extensions, nail art. Something that costs money, but is worth it, because you are treating yourself! Have you tried a salt float yet? No? Do it! What about one of those fish pedicures? An audiobook? A real book? Whatever man. Some escape-from-real-life me-time.

Games Night

Especially in winter, I tend to want to be in pajamas and call it a day by 8pm, so I’m grateful for my husband who encourages me to actually spend time with friends after 8pm. I’m also grateful for friends who don’t judge if I am actually in pajamas. The Oatmeal has some hilariously funny board games that we’ve been playing recently. But whatever you choose, board games are SO fun and actually does your brain some good (problem-solving skills, strategy etc.).

I’m still hopeful that an unprecedented amount of rain, followed by a heat wave will take care of the freezer on my doorstep, but in the meantime, I’m going to try a little positivity and alternative indoor fun to make it seem a bit warmer, happier and enjoyable. Oh, and running with my grips. Because Lord knows I need to run to burn off the crazy. 😉