Fighting the Winter Blues

After a freakishly warm autumn, Berlin is once again the cold, grey, stony-faced city that I dread all year. Its the time of year where I am constantly freezing, constantly sick, and totally bummed out from the uniformly short and "blah" days.

However, having spent last winter here, now I know what I am facing and have decided not to take things lying down. (Literally. I am vowing not to hide under the covers all winter.) Yes, I am taking a 3 pronged approach to combating winter blues!

Tactic 1: Stay Well
The best way to be in a good mood is to not be sick! I am doing my part by eating tons of "Russian antibiotic" ie, GARLIC!! Above is one of my favorite ways to eat a ton of anti-oxidant packed garlic: roasted in the oven. Bake the whole bulb with a bit of olive oil for 45 minutes, then squeeze out the mushy insides and use as a paste for bread, pizza, or blend it into a soup for added flavor. I used mine for this awesome and simple potato soup, topped with sriracha and chopped leftover herbs that I've been storing in the freezer.

Another part of this tactic is to take advantage of the plentiful winter citrus offerings (for me its clementines and grapefruit, yum!) and get tons of vitamin C. Finally, I'm upping my vitamin intake and making sure I get the Vitamin B that vegans need to stay healthy.

Tactic 2: Coziness
The Scandinavian countries have a secret for staying cheerful in the long grey winter: candles. Yes, lighting tons of candles and twinkly lights combats the depressing darkness everywhere, and makes you feel like an evening at home is a special occasion. I am taking this advice to heart this year: fuzzy socks, cute candles, soft music and nice teas will be found in my household. We are going to pretend to be totally Danish (stopping short of consuming massive quantities of Herring) and I'll let you know if it works.

Tactic 3: Get outside
Finally, even though it is completely gross outside it is important to leave the house and get the tiny little bit of Vitamin D available. I have decided that, so long as I can afford it, I will be going to the local coffee house to do my legal research rather than burrowing in at home. This way, I have to get dressed and get outside, and get a minimal amount of social contact (which is also important.) The walk to and fro, along with detours in the park of nearby, mean I get to enjoy at least a little weather and fresh air- which always ends up putting me in a good mood somehow.

What are your tips for beating the Winter Blahs?

Song of the Day: Future Islands- Balance


Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) said...

Oh, I'm with you on all of this, being a Canadian. My addition would be "dress for it". Last year I bought a new winter coat after years of wearing one that just wasn't warm enough. The new coat is super warm and it makes me much more willing to go outside (check!) to meet friends (check!) and eat good food (check!).

Vic Robinson said...

That soup looks great! We are having similar weather here in Atlanta.


Bianca said...

I love the pretending to be Danish idea! I think I'll do that too. I HATE THE COLD.

Megan said...

I can't stand Winter, but managed to deal with the snowy German Winter by keeping warm; I bought an amazing coat and wore 3 pairs of socks at all times, haha. I also took some vitamin D when I got the blues and took up running - best idea ever. Freezing weather isn't half so cold when you're running through it, admiring the scenery, and enjoying being outside. :)

Angela @ Vegangela.com said...

YUM roasted garlic - so tasty and makes the whole kitchen smell amazing (not to mention no vampires!) That soup looks awesome too!

I love warm soup/chili on a cold day + a good book to cozy up with... I also load up on vitamins and try to eat more green veggies...

Roxanne said...

I am cold all the time, I hate the winter, and I live in Canada, yeah, winter for basically 9 months of the year, (okay maybe not snow for 9 mths, but cold for 9 mths!) I dress really warm, as long as my upper body is toasty, and my legs are wrapped in men's longjohns, (did I say "men's", yes, I DID, women's longjohns are skimpy, thin and not much better than hosiery!) I could go out for a couple of hours on the longest skating rink in the world! I don't usually wear a hat, but very warm gloves are a must!

T said...

Yeah, I forgot to add that staying physically warm is key- I also invested in a crazy warm coat this year, and I started wearing long underwear in October... my goal is to be not just warm, but hot!

adriennefriend said...

Oh man, this is a great post. What do I do to beat the blues?... hmmm... I dunno, I'm pretty sad a lot in winter. I'll think about it!

keira said...

You got good tea, but don't forget hot chocolate!

My favourite thing to do on a winter night (or morning) is to make (and drink) either cocoa, or just warm soy milk with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Its naff, but having a playlist with some favourite funky/boppy songs to dance around to or listen to while walking can also help put you in a better mood.

I'm from Australia, where winter isn't quite as serious as the US, let alone Denmark, but I'm spending this winter in Tbilisi, so I'm learning fast :)