Got The Winter Blues? Try These Pick Me Ups.

Unless you – like my daughters – long for snow, Michigan winters can be draining. Months of freezing temperatures and cloudy skies can put even the happiest person in a crappy mood.

This week, that person in a bad mood has been me. While this winter hasn’t been as bad as winters past (knock on wood), I’m craving some consistent sunshine and 85 degree days I can complain about.

Since I’ve had to look inward to find the happiness that this great state is holding me back from, here are some things that are helping me look forward to spring:

What I’m watching:

I told you in a previous self-care post that any video with babies has my vote. Well, add singing babies and I can’t take the cuteness. Check out this video of 4-year-old Claire Ryann singing “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” from Toy Story with her dad.

 

Look over at me during a class lecture and you may catch me drooling. But show me an interesting TED talk and you’ve got my attention. I love to hearing people’s stories about what moves them and how they want to move the world. Twenty Ten Talent is a career resource for talented young black women, and they compiled a list of 50 TED talks by 50 talented black women that you can check out here.In the talk below, Kimberly Bryant talks about starting Black Girls Code to introduce programming and technology to a new generation of coders.

 

What I’m listening to:

Last time I told you about one of my go-to podcasts: Buzzfeed’s Another Round. I am a digital journalist at Michigan Radio, an NPR member station, so it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t recommend any of my favorite podcasts from NPR. One of my favorites is Code Switch. They cover race and identity, and they’re all journalists of color. You can listen here.

Since its release last fall, I keep finding my way back to Solange’s “A Seat at the Table.” The whole album is therapeutic and empowering, something I’ve really needed lately because the world is…well…the world. Even during winter, whenever I listen to it I feel like I’m riding in my car, windows down and warm summer air blowing in my face. You can check out the official video for her song, “Cranes in the Sky” below:

 

What I’m doing:

Drinking Water. I know, I know. This is a no-brainer. You should already be drinking water. But lately I’ve been making a point to reach for a glass of water in the morning before my cup of tea. It’s a good way to wake your my body and brain to start your day. So drink up!

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Pampering myself: I am typically cautious about what I use on my face because I had problem skin when I was younger. My go-to cleanser is Biore’s Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser because it leaves my skin clean and refreshed. But I picked up these charcoal mud masks by the brand Yes To on a recent trip to Walmart. One application left my complexion bright and my face smooth. They even sell one-mask sample packs so you can try out which one works for you.

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Breathing: I don’t do this a lot. I don’t mean breathing to live. I mean really breathing, and being aware of my body and the space I’m in. I usually don’t take a deep breath until the end of my day because I have so much to do all day. But recently, I downloaded this app called Headspace that walks you through mindfulness and meditation exercises that you can do anywhere – some as short as two minutes. The first 10 exercises are free and you have the option to subscribe for more.

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What are you watching, listening to, reading or doing to stay sane? I love suggestions so let me know!

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