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GUEST COLUMN: How to avoid those winter ‘blues’ and ‘blahs’

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Nadine Wark

By Nadine Wark

It happens to many of us… some know what it is while others don’t, but it is ‘down in the dumps’ or melancholy feelings in the wintertime. A few decades ago, sun lamps were popular and those with seasonal depressions, etc. said they did benefit from the warmth of those lamps. I have not heard about them lately, probably because one can fall asleep while using like an old friend of mine did!

Many people, not only seniors, leave town for warmer climates, whether it be for a few weeks or months. Since the pandemic and fallout, travelling is even more difficult whether you are young or old. Many airlines lack sufficient employees to run their business properly. Long lineups due to cancelled/delayed flights, spending day and nights at the airport, sometimes with small children in tow, then dealing with lost luggage and frayed nerves.

Cruises are risky with the many mysterious viruses going around and you might have to spend your vacation in your cabin. If you decide to drive, you might hit one of the nasty storms that seem to prevail throughout both our provinces and states. It might be better to just stay home and eat chocolate.

Aside from travelling, there are ways to deal with the winter blahs especially in our own Sarnia-Lambton (and many free events if you take the time to keep informed). Sitting in your vehicle under the bridges sipping a coffee is always a nice pastime, and the winter season brings lovely scenery. Our parks offer enjoyable hikes, cross-country skiing, sledding on the hills around town, skating at arenas or outdoor ponds and so much more.

For local photographers, both pro and amateur, wintertime provides a feast for the eyes and ears, whether it’s hundreds of bird species, wildlife and sunsets to photograph. Recently groups of students learned how to be ‘birders’ and kept record all the birds seen. The variety of birds was astounding!

Families who are able, join the Y or a fitness club together. Dog-walking can be a fun time with many dogs loving the snow! Responsible dog owners deck their dogs out in some kind of winter attire. Allie, the dog I walk has a quilted designer coat.

Cooking is an excellent way to ‘beat the blues’ and if you use a mixer it might help more! My friend, Sue who hails from the U.K. is a great cook, who shares her tasty entrees and amazing homemade soups. The muffins and trifles she whips up are delicious along with everything else that comes from her kitchen. She recently offered me ‘toad in the hole’…I told her I do not eat toads or frogs. It might be better to eat chocolate.

Nadine has been a short-story writer for many years and published in several local magazines and newspapers.

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