My top 5 tips for fighting winter blahs in Portland, Oregon

1.  Shelter in place.  Think of your home as Toad Hall in winter – a place where the hearth is always warm and good books beckon.  Toad Hall hours are 4:00 PM to 8AM, allowing lots of time for cocooning, cocoa and hunkering down.  

2.  Get out and about.  Thomas Jefferson had the right idea and wrote, “Not less than two hours a day should be devoted to exercise, and the weather should be little regarded. A person not sick will not be injured by getting wet.” Alright then. Take a walk on your lunch hour.  Putter in your yard, or someone else’s yard.  Walk your dog, or someone else’s dog.  Do this in daylight hours, at maximum light times if possible.  Keep your eyes on the hourly forecasts and maximize the dry times between the drenchings.  On rare sunny days, get out – way out.  Go east, young people.  Things are a lot brighter in Central Oregon.  Or, make some damn holiday plans.  Would it kill you to tour The PIttock Mansion again?  This year’s holiday theme is “locally crafted.”  Come on.  You know you want to go.

3. Exercise.  The gold standard for me is lap swimming at a gym pool with lots of natural light – Then, into the sauna.  Repeat.  Good for you, good for your Portland S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder).  For rare, great days of winter sun, cycling can be a great chance to enjoy winter scenery on uncrowded bike routes.  NE Marine Drive is my favorite haunt.

4. Cook, clean, cavort.  Weekends are best for this.  Plan the weekends for maximum renewal.  Make winter soups in the slow cooker, extend fall cleaning right into the holidays.  Your relatives will thank you for this.  Schedule time with friends – avoid becoming a low light hermit.  Go to movies at The Laurelhurst, go to trade shows, invite company.  Just don’t invite depression – it could move in and refuse to leave.

5.  When all else fails – throw money at the problem.  A strategically placed OTT-LITE© can power you through the day in a dark cubicle.  Sometimes just having an airline ticket to any sunny location will buoy you through.  Go, re-charge your battery, return, grit your teeth and carry on.   The magnificent Portland summer will rise again.



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