The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


January 12, 2014

Snow and other four-letter words:

11 ways to survive the winter doldrums


2. HELP. “Everyone you meet has things that they need help accomplishing. Take the focus off of yourself with a healthy dose of ‘others-centered’ thinking. You don’t have to volunteer at the homeless shelter to be a useful part of someone’s life. Offer to help by picking up a few extra things at the grocery store for your husband or a neighbor if you’re venturing out.”

3. GIVE. “Everyone appreciates an unexpected gift, even if it’s just a latte for a co-worker or a batch of cookies for the office. (Can’t think of anyone? Send those cookies to 120 Harper Court at Life Strategies Counseling in care of Hamlet Smith.) Seriously, pleasure from giving to others is a quick pick-me-up for these snowy days. Surprise someone.”

4. PLAY. “Everyone has a deck of cards. Dust them off and fire up an old game of crazy eights or war. The interaction with other people is what we need, and you won’t hear any arguments from your kids. Playing games is a better social lubricant than the finest wine.”

5. REST. “Take the opportunity to sleep in when you can. As long as it doesn’t become habit-forming, it can be another way to treat yourself to a little pampering.”

6. READ. “There are these wonderful things grandma talks about  called books. Curl up with a good book and a blanket on the couch. If you feel like one-upping it, get your kids together for a read-aloud session. Books, like most things, are enjoyed in groups. You will place a good feeling deep in your family’s collective consciousness by having a read-aloud session of a new book.”

7. MUGS. “Often, things are special because you make them special. Some of my favorite childhood memories are of coming in from playing in the snow to a piping hot cup of cocoa. Put it in a special mug and add too many marshmallows for maximum effect.”

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