Down & out?  Feeling tired & fat?  Frumpy & dumpy?  What is it about January?  When the snow piles up, the temperature plunges and the sun goes into hibernation, the mood starts to plummet.

The holiday hype has died down, Bowl games  are over, the Packers stunk up the play offs, we ate one too many cookies or tipped back one too many hot toddies and now it is back to reality with nothing to look forward to.

Above the clouds in the Alps

Above the clouds in the Alps

To brighten my spirits in the spring, all I need to do is fling open windows to feel inspired by the Swiss Alps and French Jura, but in winter those same mountain tops lock in fine particles and pollutants in a fog so thick I can’t see my hand if front of my face. The locals recommend heading to the peaks to beat the blues…rise above the smog where the air is clean and clear, but not everybody lives near a mountain, nor has agility to ski or the money to afford the sport.

Check out my inexpensive quick pick-me-ups to brighten your bleak winter days especially if you live Up North on an empty pocketbook with a bad case of lumbago!


1. Read a good book.

2. Watch an old sit-com, back in the day when the special effects were so poor, the lines had to be great

3. Surprise a friend you haven’t talked to for years with a phone call

4. Write an old fashioned letter, you know, by hand with pen and paper.

5. Take a bubble bath by candle light

6. Listen to smooth jazz

7. Teach a child to do something new and watch their eyes light up

8. Lie on a yoga mat with your legs at a right angle against the wall and arms reaching overhead, then breath deeply in a full body stretch

9. Open a good bottle of wine and savor one glass

10. Turn off the computer, TV, iPhone, iPod, iPad.  Stop text messaging, facebooking, linking –in, emailing and Tweeting on line and connect in person (ie. hug someone you love, speak face to face!)

How do you kick back the January blues ?