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  • 5 Sure-Fire Stress Relievers for the Winter That Won’t End


    Will winter never end

    You’ve tried all of your favorite winter comfort foods. You’ve tried diffusing all the warming, spicy essential oils as recommended. You’ve tried piles of soft, warm blankets coupled with piles of good books and/or movies.  You’ve even tried embracing winter by getting outside and participating in winter sports to help invigorate you, but you came back in after 5 minutes because you couldn’t feel your face. It’s no use, all of your regular winter coping mechanisms have failed.

    Now what? How are you going to get through the next couple months?

    Never fear, I have a few “out of the box” suggestions to help keep your cabin fever from spiking to a dangerous level.

    1.  If your blinds or shades allow it, pull them down from the top a bit to let the sunshine in without making all the snow on the ground depressingly visible. Alternately, hang a blanket over the bottom portion of your window for the same effect. Bonus points if the blanket has a tropical motif like palm trees or beaches.
    2. Have a BBQ. Put the grill in the garage and grill up your favorite summertime foods. Pair that with what ever chips or salads you normally serve when grilling, bring the lawn chairs inside and have yourself a picnic. Alternately, if you don’t have a garage,  get one of those stovetop grills for use over gas burners. Bonus points for realism if you get one side of your grilled food a bit *ahem* “more done” than the other.
    3. Make summertime pancakes or french toast. Pair a warm meal with summertime tastes by making some variety of lemon or blueberry pancakes or french toast.  Lighter fare can be a real mood booster first thing in the morning, especially if you’re growing tired of the more traditional heavy winter foods. Pair with a mug of hot coffee or tea. Make the happiness last by making a double or triple batch on Sunday and storing the cooked pancakes or french toast in the fridge. Just heat them up in the toaster or toaster oven each morning. Bonus points if you go all out and make them with both lemon and blueberry. Mmmmm… lemon blueberry pancakes…
    4. Get beachy, rather than b*tchy. Head to the tub with your favorite tropical smelling bath oil/salt/bubbles, a tropical scented candle (or 2 or 3), and your favorite summertime drink (smoothie, mai tai, tequila sunrise, etc.). Complete the experience by playing some island, calypso, or surf music. Bonus points for enhancing the view with a tropical poster covering the window. Extra bonus points if you put one of those paper umbrellas in your drink.
    5. Make yourself camping food. Camper’s dinner (carrots, potatoes, and onions all wrapped up in aluminum foil) can be baked in the oven instead of the on the coals of your campfire, and pairs nicely with a hamburger (or veggie patty). AND s’mores can easily be made in the kitchen by toasting the marshmallows over a burner. Sit around the campfire (space heater) and enjoy. Bonus points for nature sound CDs. Extra bonus points for  use of either glow-in-the-dark stars or a star projector.

    All of these suggestions have been successfully tested by yours truly. In fact, we’ve been enjoying lemon poppyseed pancakes for breakfast each morning this week, and next week we’re going to do camper’s dinner. I can’t wait.

    Feel free to come up with your own idea, then post it here and let me know what it is. I find the trick is to combine something warm with something summery. Be as creative as you want. I mean… you’re stuck indoors, so what else are you gonna do?