I have to admit it: This time of year always makes me feel a little burnt out. I’m sick of wearing my winter coat and boots, and staring at the snow is making my eyes burn. I’m feeling bogged down, rushed off my feet and a little defeated, and I could use both a mood boost and a deceleration of the weekly merry-go-round. And so, in order to further my happiness, here are four little things I’m going to try this week:
1. Stop cramming everything in: And also stop feeling bad when I can’t. I have a tendency to overload my schedule, and I suffer from serious denial about how exhausted I often am at the end of the day. Still, week after week, I find myself trying to both eat soft-shell crab with friends and attend choir practice, all in the same evening, just to keep everyone happy. So this week, I’m going to play things by ear and see how I feel before I commit myself.
2. Take a long walk at the first sign of sunshine: This is the time of year when I have to force myself out of the house. The cold seems that much colder and the snow seems that much more, well, just awful. But even on those crisp, cold days, if I can force myself out into the blinding sun to go buy a coffee and date square at a coffee shop, or browse some new nail polish colours, I actually feel much better and I swear I can sense the first hints of spring in the air.
3. Make dinner at home: I have always been far more interested in eating than cooking. I used to think that, if given unlimited access to resources and the restaurants of my choice, I would probably be happy to eat out every day of the week. But as my recent evening spent eating my weight in soft cheeses and drinking too much red wine (and the following not-so-happy morning) demonstrated, I’m finding that I increasingly like to prepare something simple and healthy at home most nights of the week. Yes, I will always have a weakness for pork belly, and chicken burritos, and pho, and pretty much anything else you can cram in your mouth. But if I spend more of my nights baking some salmon with a side of broccoli, my body’s definitely happier with me.
4. Clean myself up: With the exception of when I’m walking back and forth to the gym, when it’s perfectly fine to look your worst (and when I wish I had access to some sort of underground tunnel), I find that my mood brightens if I just spend an extra 10 minutes on my appearance before I head out the door. If I put on a little blush and mascara and make sure I’m wearing an outfit that flatters, then I carry myself a little more brightly when I’m out about town — and I don’t have to worry about having a panic attack, like that time I was wearing my pajamas in the video store and I saw my neighbourhood crush. (Pro: I got out of there before he saw me. Con: I had to abandon season two of Mad Men.)