Candlemass is past, and Christmas is well and truly over, here in the UK February looks set to be its usual grey and cold self. Signs of spring are yet to emerge; if like me you long for them perhaps you need ways to get through these long dark days. So lets share a few tips for a cold and rainy/ snowy day....
1. Exercise, what do you do if you can't face getting out into the cold and damp?
If the temperature is above 30 degrees, I bundle up and just deal with the cold in order to run in some sunlight. A mile or so in, I've warmed up, and I'm glad to be out there. I knew winter was getting to me this week, though, because I was downright snarly as I zipped up my vest and headed out the door! (If it's colder than 30, I head to the gym. And either way, I do a little morning yoga in the brightest room in the house.)
2. Food; time to comfort eat, or time to prepare your body for the coming spring/summer?
Both? I'm not sure this is an either/or question for me, as my taste buds lean towards pretty healthy food. Spicy food is particularly nice this time of year-- Indian has been sounding great this week.
3. Brainpower; do you like me need to stave off depression, if so how do you do it?
Merciful heavens, yes. Honestly, the best answer to this is also the answer to question 1-- I spend as much time as I can bear (truly despising the cold) outside. Exercise makes a world of difference to me in the winter. Without it, I would nap more days than not!
4. How about a story that lifts your spirits, is there a book or film that you return to to stave off the gloom?
For me, it's music that's most likely to lift my spirits. I've been on a Motown kick lately, but singing and bopping around to anything cheers me up and calms me down.
5. Looking forward, do you have a favourite spring flower/ is there something that says spring is here more than anything else?
I cheer LOUDLY when the crocuses first pop their heads up. They're my favorite sign that the end is in sight.
Bonus; post a poem/ piece of music that points to the coming spring......
SPRINGNothing is so beautiful as Spring--When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;Thrush's eggs look little low heavens, and thrushThrough the echoing timber does so rinse and wringThe ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, the brushThe descending blue; that blue is all in a rushWith richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.What is all this juice and all this joy?A strain of the earth's sweet being in the beginningIn Eden garden. -- Have, get, before it cloy,Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,Most, O maid's child, thy choice and worth the winning.-Gerard Manley Hopkins