Living in a temperate climate, as we do, we are faced with a stark reality come January. No offense to my charming friends who were born around this period, but it’s the most depressing time of the year. Social convention dictates that we must pack away all the decor, cheer and anticipation we haul out for the holidays. Once all of that is hastily packed in boxes and stuffed in closets, all that remains are low temperature and the unkind bite of the wind. This week is extra special because we’re greeted with what feels like subzero temperature, frozen digits and the prayers you say right before you turn the keys in your car ignition.
But wait, if we look hard enough, can we not find the metaphorical warm spot to get us through these bitter, Arctic-flavored times? Yea! Verily! Let’s explore ways that we can thaw our icy hearts and warm ourselves from the inside out.
This finger-numbing weather is the most perfect time of the year to hibernate. You can plan to come home after work every night, immediately change into your fuzziest pajamas pants, and park on the couch under the special fleece or blanket of your choice. (Pro tip: On weekends, you can actually do this for 48 straight hours.) You can take the time to sit and finish that book you’ve been you’ve always wanted to read. Maybe you have a DVR chock full of shows you’ve been waiting to watch. Maybe you’ll run into an important marathon of a television show. When’s the last time you watched an entire cycle of America’s Next Top Model?
Whatever you choose to do during your hibernation, it’s vital that you have hearty food delivered to your house. The spicier and fattier, the better. From my experiences hiding under blankets and demanding sustenance, I find that Indian and Thai work best. And now that I’ve finally tried the Han Dynasty Dan Dan Noodles, they may be my go-to warm-me-up food if I can get them to deliver to my neighborhood.
Related: this weather can be the perfect excuse for almost anything. Don’t feel like attending a wedding? It’s too cold! Feel like working from home for the day? You simply can’t even think of leaving the house in this chill for the sake of safety. Feeling guilty about not getting to the gym? It’s fine. You’ll get there when it warms up a bit.
Another way to fight the cold is to conjure something to warm your heart. Use the cold to help you focus on ways to make yourself a beacon of warmth. If you open up your closet and find that you have many seasons’ worth of winter coats, then maybe it’s time to give a couple away to people in need. You can only wear one at a time, and AIDS Thrift or any homeless shelter will be happy to take the goods off your hands.
Find something that makes you happy to warm you up. For me this week, it was the inauguration. We’ve got progressive president with a gorgeous family who requests songs by Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce, and allows a gay Cuban poet to recite his work to millions. With any luck, it won’t be long before he ends the drug war, bans the death penalty, takes away all the guns, and forces us all to get gay married. Wishful thinking, perhaps, but I, for one, welcome our second term overlord.
And finally, at the very least, an occasional snowstorm may be a pain in the ass, but it makes our city look so very pretty. If that doesn’t warm your heart, then nothing will.