Wow, just wow. No matter how tough we New Englanders are, our insane winters always find a way to surprise and challenge us. This winter has already proven to be no exception. So, the question on my mind is: Is there a way to actually enjoy the winter as opposed to just surviving it?
In the interest of sharing more than just my methods, I reached out to my fellow ladies to get some of their ways of beating the winter blues. They should be following up during their weeks.
Disclaimer: I feel that it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t take a moment to acknowledge that both depression and seasonal depression are very real things. The methods we discuss here are meant to be fun and might be helpful to some, but are by no means designed to replace a doctor’s or therapist’s guidance.
Part 1: Smalerie
Last year I wrote an article about focusing on self-care when the weather gets you down. This still rings true, but when I really start to feel the winter blues, I actually require a bit more structure and frankly a bit of a push. So for my part of this article, I’m going to write a little about pushing these ideas a bit further.
- Goal Setting and New Skills:
Beyond just wacky projects, winter is a time when I actually benefit most from sitting down, creating a plan, and developing a new skill. Sometimes, frosting cookies to look like Muppets just isn’t enough. Instead, I need to stretch my brain, test myself, and strive for that sweet sweet feeling of accomplishment.
This winter, I’m taking a page from The Red Menace’s book and attempting some real bread making. There’s a lot to be said for the experience of kneading dough (meditative and stress reducing) and trust me when I say that baking fresh bread is great for the ego since it really impresses the friends and neighbors. When you think about how few ingredients you need to make bread, it’s really incredible. Not to mention how comforting a warm oven is on a frigid day. Seriously, if bread making interests you in the slightest – do. the. thing!
In fact, let us even point you to a great beginner’s recipe.
2. Join a thing and make yourself accountable:
During the winter, I can find it even harder than usual to follow up on things. It’s easy to tell a friend that you’re not up to heading out to brunch because it’s too cold or you just can’t seem to motivate yourself to change out of your flannel pj’s. When I start letting this happen, that’s when I know that I’m in trouble and can start to lose momentum. And then after a certain amount of time, the winter blues can really start to settle in for me.
I battle this by adding accountability to my activities. That’s right, I give myself someone or something to answer to. This can be as simple as buying tickets for things like movies in advance or even planning more events with timed tickets. I promise you, if I’m already in $20+ for that ticket, the weather is going to have to be pretty severe to stop me. Otherwise, I feel like I’m throwing money away.
Another method of accountability I use is leaning on the kindness of my friends and family. This might not work or even be necessary for everyone, but I will flat out ask people to push me and stop me from flaking out on things. Does this mean that people have shown up at my house unannounced and lured me out with promises of tater tots or even provided a bit of tough love via text message? Absolutely, but if it’s something I respond to, that’s exactly what I needed to battle the blues. And then once I’m out and about, I rarely regret going.
This week’s accountable activity is the Ladies’ first ever D&D campaign. We started last month and even if the weather is not great, I know that I must bravely fight my way to the castle beyond the goblin city to take back the…I mean, it’s going to be a lot harder for my team to finish up without me. So I will be there, and will even bring snacks. Hey, it’s the right thing to do.
So yeah, take that Old Man Winter! We’re not going to take your guff lying down. We’re gonna fight back!
Shameless plug: Looking for a way to punch Winter in the face? Like us on Facebook and sign up for our mailing list. We have a whole year of fun stuff coming your way. Join us and let Winter know that you mean business!
Happy Dinovember, advice-seekers! This is our favorite month of the year. Besides being a 30-day celebration of our glorious selves, it’s the month in which we celebrate our favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. It’s the one day of the year you humans take in the right number of calories. This year, the feasting starts early – we and the Ladies are kicking off our celebration on Saturday, November 5th with our buddy Kyle Coston’s Gut-Bustin’ Thanksgiving special. The Ladies will be feeding Kyle a special treat, so don’t miss the fun!
If you’re more into dinosaurs than turkey, be sure to follow the adventures of our pal TR Henri and his friends at the Henrietta Public Library. These guys get up to all kinds of hijinks!
And now, without further ado, we solve your problems. These questions come from some of our friends who attended LadiesCon 2016! If you don’t see your question, fear not – we will address it in a later installment.
In which our agony aunts, the Fashion Raptors (or Fraptors, as I like to call them) answer your questions on fashion, etiquette, and life in general. If you’ve got questions for our saurian sages, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll pass ’em along.
Hey readers. You may recall that previously The Red Menace put the word out that our lovely mascots, The Fashion Raptors, were interested in sharing some of their well thought out advice. Well, this week we let them take a crack at some of your concerns. Are they helpful? You can decide.
Dear Fashion Raptors:
I worry about the apocalypse (Ed: don’t we all?). We never know when the dead might begin to rise, some contagion might be released, or even what’s really in the Mariana Trench. While I don’t want to become one of those crazy preppers, I do feel like some sort of on-going level of preparedness isn’t the worst idea. Thoughts on footwear that is both fashionable and functional in the event of a total collapse of civilization?
Looks Like a Pump, Feels Like a Sneaker
You bring up a great point. Though we raptors don’t need to worry about shoes, we know that humans feet are fleshy and delicious….um, sensitive, and need protection. However that protection need not be unfashionable. Opinions on the best apocalyptic footwear may vary. But we feel you should have something durable, yet flexible, because face it, when alien overlords take over, you are going to need to run. Because of this, stay away from any high heels or wedges. While a running shoe is the ideal for this, they may not hold up to the rigors of a post-apocalyptic wasteland. We suggested you focus on a leather shoe or boot, with a rubber sole and a little spring. A brand we suggest is Teva. They have some very fashionable options that can be worn daily and with either pants or skirts, so if you aren’t home and near your closet when the end of days comes, you’ll still be able to outrun the weaker and less informed members of the pack. Happy shopping….
The Fashion Raptors.
Dear Fashion Raptors:
I’m what you might call, “accident prone.” So accident prone that it’s been suggested that I just wrap myself in bubble wrap and be done with it. While this might be protective, I’m not sure it will look that great. Any suggestions?
We think we understand your issue.
There are a few directions you could go with this. We understand the bubble wrap might not be the most flattering of mediums; however, one of the nice things about bubble wrap is that it is clear. This means you could wear your favorite pants outfit or dress and have the bubble wrap as an outer layer. Think of it like the clear plastic protective cover on a sofa. Our grandma used to have those because it’s hell getting viscera out of upholstery. Here are some great examples of a dress, and a lovey two piece ensemble. Depending on your accident level you may want to add protective layers as appropriate.
The Fashion Raptors
Dear Fashion Raptors:
We hope you enjoyed The Fashion Raptors’ maiden voyage into advising. Send your questions, fashion-related or otherwise, to email@example.com, or post them to our Facebook page.