THE BLOG

Don't Flurry! Be Happy!

03/03/2015 11:35 am ET | Updated May 03, 2015

I used to say when it was snowing that the "the angels were brushing their hair." This year, the angels have really let their hair down, giving much of the country a cold shoulder. If hell actually froze ever over it may have been this winter.

Like many living in the icy parts of the country I had my cold snap this past week. In a fit of a winter meltdown I wailed to my husband... and to the snow angels outside... "I've had enough! As God as my witness, I want to go home south to Tara!" The problem is, my "Tara" in Chattanooga, Tennessee, received a good six inches of snow this week. My mother curled up with a good book, watched endless movies on television and enjoyed a three-dog night with her Maltese.

David said, "Snap out of it!" We made a pact: Complaining about the weather is officially off limits from this point on. If you can't control the weather, stop bitching about it and adapt. If you have a roof over your head, albeit groaning from the weight of snow; if you have food to eat; if you have heat and clothes to stay warm; and if you have enough of what you need to weather the cold, why waste your energy complaining? Too many people in the world lack for food, shelter, warmth, clothing and even basic necessities like clean water... or good health.

Instead of complaining I started re-framing and made this list which I call: "Don't Flurry. Be Happy" -- 12 things snowy winter days are good for that you probably would never do when the sun is shining.

1. Cleaning out your drawers and closets
2. Binge watching a TV or movie series or
3. Making warm soups, stews, casseroles and baked anything
4. Curling up with a good... book... magazine.. man...
5. Planning your next vacation online
6. Writing that blog, book or business plan
7. Trying a new recipe, hobby or craft
8. Writing thank you notes and good old fashioned letters
9. Preparing your taxes. Not terribly fun but necessary.
10. Watching your kids, your dog, your significant other romp in the snow and joining them.
11. Creating and acting on a crazy idea. A man in Massachusetts is actually selling snow by the bottle and box... with success!
12. Picking up the phone and checking in with friends and loved ones.

But what if you feel SAD?

If you experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), you are not alone. Over half a million people suffer from SAD which manifests in several ways:

  • reduced energy
  • increased eating, especially intake carbohydrates
  • difficulty sleeping
  • moodiness and an inability to focus
  • lower sex drive

Here are five things you can do to counter the symptoms of SAD:

Get outside in the daylight, even for 15-20 minutes. Open your curtains to let more light into your home.

Do some form of cardio vascular exercise at least 30 minutes a day. The more you move, the more you will get your groove back.

Eat more greens and fruit and consume less heavy or carb-loaded food. You may feel the urge to eat more and heavier, but unless you are moving around a lot, lighten up!

Rest! Don't over exert yourself and try and have a better night's sleep. If getting to sleep is hard, avoid late night dinners, especially with lots of wine. Try my version of "mother's milk" -- a mug of warm almond milk last laced with (optional) a little rye whiskey or bourbon. If staying asleep is a problem, purchase ear plugs and keep your bedroom temperature on the cooler side.

Be social with friends and engaged in activities you enjoy. This will keep you mentally fit. Winter may compel you to retreat into a comfy cocoon which is fine unless you start feeling the blues.

Remember, it's all seasonal and it's your choice how you season your attitude. I'll take a little more spice any day!