Here in snow country we are settled in to what is a very long stretch of potentially boring days. The holidays are over. It is a very long time till we will get outside on a regular basis. The snow that seemed so beautiful at first is now dirty and the snow banks are piling up. Our vehicles are all the same shade of brownish grey, but if we go to the car wash our doors will freeze shut. People get grumpy. Of course, not everyone lives in a cold climate, but even in warmer places the days till springtime can get long. Help! Please give us five suggestions for combating cabin fever and staying cheerful in our monochromatic world?
Okay, here are my thoughts.
1. The best way to avoid cabin fever? GET OUT OF THE CABIN. I go running outside as often as possible, unless it's really freaking cold or I'm really freaking sick. Last night I got out for a nice five-miler in tights, shorts and two t-shirts; the exercise keeps me warm. So, get out for a walk or a run - you'll be better for it!
2. This year I'll be basking in the glow of a Cornhusker Gator Bowl victory over Clemson, the perfect finishing touch to a 9-4 season and, hopefully, the first of many more successful seasons. Thanks to the wonder of our DVR, I've got several classic Nebraska games to watch as well - which will help me survive the longest season of the year (off-season, not winter!)
3. I bake bread. Lots of bread, especially when it's Friday and I'm stuck on sermon prep. This one, unfortunately, has gone by the wayside this year due to moving/a new campus ministry/dealing with a toddler and an infant. But I still try to find time for baking when I can: it's homey, you can eat what you make, and NOTHING smells better than a mix of freshly-brewed coffee and freshly-baked bread.
4. Speaking of coffee, winter is a time to catch up on reading. Find a good book and a comfy chair at your local coffeehouse, and while away an afternoon. That's just a whole day of awesome right there.
5. Campus Ministry. Seriously, my call is invigorating, so I spend the winter looking at ways to challenge and encourage our student community. Sometimes I can incorporate many of the items listed above. Sunday morning we'll be baking communion bread; we have a book group; tomorrow we might be having a Lutheran Center group run. They don't go in much for the Nebraska football here at Iowa State, though. :-)
Well, there you have it. Oh, and I forgot sledding. LOTS of fun. :-)