Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Beating the Winter Blues

Here in Provo, winter is finally upon us. At least for this week. For some, especially those who love all things warm, bright, and sunny, this season is not the happiest. Life's challenges, such as getting a bad haircut, getting a B+ on a test, breaking a hip, having your car break down, getting a cold, being dumped, having your goldfish die, having a roommate suddenly develop an affinity for opera, or burning your toast can seem so much harder when it is cold and/or dreary outside. Never fear! There are ways to feel happy again.

(note: I, myself, never experience negative emotions. I have a super-human ability to stay positive no matter what. I have never personally been sad, I have only heard descriptions of it)

Stare longingly into a picture of Hawaii, or some other tropical paradise. The longer you gaze into the warm and wonderful landscape, the more you'll forget you're actually living in the Rockies (or some other cold, sad place you may currently be). For a full effect, take a hair dryer set on low, and direct it towards your face. Is that a tropical breeze you're feeling?

Bake. I have never seen anyone bake brownies with a frown. If you're only a little sad, bake something little for yourself. If you need to take it up a notch, I recommend baking for other people. Not only do you have the warm fuzzies from knowing you did something to brighten up someone else's day, but you get to go out socializing. Which for most of us, makes up happy. If you're feeling more anti-social or thrill-seeking, try the classic door bell ditch anonymous baked goods drop. Trust me.

Watch this. I dare you to stay sad.

Type "cute animals" into youtube. When you finally come to, several hours and dozens of videos later, you won't even remember why you were distressed in the first place. You will only have images of adorable baby animals swimming around your consciousness for days, not allowing room for anything even slightly depressing. (warning: unless you accidentally stumble upon that awful sarah mclachlan animal abuse commercial. that may bring you right back.)

Watch a few Mormon Messages. Ok, I'm being serious. Even though I assume the majority of my readers are LDS, if you aren't or even if you are not even particularly religious, these amazing videos can have an impact on everyone. They not only reinforce specific, wonderful truths, but they offer very good perspectives. Especially videos like the one featuring Stephanie Nielson (if you haven't seen it, watch it!). No matter if our problems are life-altering or only cause temporary downness, we can always maintain a good attitude. It really is ok to feel occasionally sad, as long as we do not become so absorbed in our own wallowing that we forget those around us. Of course none of us are perfect, but these messages can help give something to strive to be.