The blah, blah winter blahs
Jason Hersey/Sun Star Columnist
It’s called the winter ‘blahs,’ and they hit hard in February. You know, that post Valentines, no sentimental holiday to look forward to, I haven’t seen the sun and it’s still fricking cold…February blahs.
It is a phenomenon that spreads itself like a rumor by the lips of old-timers, house-husbands, UAF students, and pretty much everybody else that can’t hop on a plane to a sunny and warmer place somewhere closer to the equator skipping right over this much dreaded month in Fairbanks.
The month of February in the north is like spiteful tease. She begins to display some interest after a cold, dark winter of longing for her. You know you shouldn’t let yourself buy in to her games, but you long to feel her warmth. Against your better judgement, you begin to feel assured by the little more sunshine with which she invitingly draws you in. Then…BAM! Thirty-five below for two weeks straight. She laughs; you cry.
So right about now the whisper is murmuring around town: “I’m sick of winter.” “My girlfriend left me on Valentine’s Day.” “I never had a girlfriend for Valentine’s Day.” “I have to get out of Fairbanks.” “My car can’t take another cold snap.” “I’m sick of walking to the Commons with my bunny boots and face-mask!”
Fred Meyer doesn’t even seem to know what to do with February. It’s like a sad reminder of a lonely weekend walking past their displays. Nobody wants to buy message candy hearts no matter the discount, but they can’t change the displays because they don’t know what to look forward to next. Nobody really cares about St. Patrick’s Day’s shamrock napkins right now. In fact, nobody really cares about St. Patrick’s Day until St. Patrick’s Day.
Luckily, a simple Google search has all the answers. People are quick to market the ‘blahs’ and claim to have the solutions. The Daily News-Miner reported in October 2012, to “beat the Fairbanks winter blahs” one need only to have visited a winter expo at the Carlson Center selling merchandise and sharing information on how to survive the Fairbanks winter. Let’s hope it comes around again!
Erin Kirkland in her blog “KTD on the Go!” touts the Alaska Ski Train, which leaves out of Anchorage, is “meant simply to transport skiers and snowshoers with a serious case of winter blahs to a remote destination for a few hours of breaking trail.”
Bethel Church invites women to “brave the cold and beat the winter blahs with an evening of music, fun and dessert” on Feb. 21. Even the Amarillo Bulls Hockey Club of Amarillo, Texas invites you to come check out the game and “take some of the winter blahs away.” Wait. Winter blahs in Amarillo, Texas, seriously?
Five quick suggestions to “beat the winter blahs” by PsycheCentral:
1. Know your body. Circadian rhythms and melatonin levels change with lack of sunlight which result in tiredness and lethargy.
2. Regular physical activity! Enough said.
3. Put variety in your foods. More protein and veggies, less carbs and sugar. 4. Socialize, socialize, socialize! Get your buddy out of that dark cabin and make him go to the dump with you or something. 5. Pamper yourself. This doesn’t mean eat yourself into a chocolate abyss (see #3).
One last piece of advice from a trusted colleague is this: “Don’t make any major life altering decisions in February!” Or do, but don’t blame it on the winter blahs.
Remember, spring will come my friends. Don’t let yourself believe that it will be anytime soon, though. Hunker down a little longer so as not to get your hopes up for frigid disappointment. It could be worse. We could be like that town in Norway that had to install giant mirrors to reflect sunlight to their town square because the mountain nearby shades everything for six months out of the year.