On Saturday, July 30 Categories:

Ah, yes. It's that time of year if you live either on the East Coast, Mid West (like myself) and the Rockies, where you look outside and see the snow on the ground along with temperatures between 0 and 30 degrees with the wind chill well below zero. After you look at that window, you take a deep breath and sigh to yourself. The winter time blues does also, affect those who live in the South, West Coast and the Southwestern United States, but at least you guys can go outside (well, earlier this month, those living in Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, North and South Carolina, and Tennessee had to deal with some snow and Florida had a cold snap) while the rest us has to stay indoors and deal with cabin fever.

There are people out there who love Winter, the snow, cold, the idea of White Christmas. In my opinion, I think that the whole concept of having a white Christmas is very ov-er-rat-ed!I put it like this: the same people who want a white Christmas, or at least see some snow falling from the sky on Christmas Day, are the same people who want the snow to start melting away on December 26 and making sure that the white stuff and the cold doesn't come back. You can't have it both ways. Either you want to have snow or you don't to see it coming down when the holiday season is upon us.

What is the Winter Time Blues?

Winter time Blues usually takes place in Mid to late January when the holidays (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day) have come and gone; when you have already took down your Christmas tree; when you have put up all of your Christmas presents; when you have not gone to the mall since you have finished Christmas shopping; when you have stopped baking holiday treats (cookies, pies, cakes, etc.) once the season is over; when you have already gone to every single Christmas party that you could possibly attend (who doesn't love a good Christmas party!); and when you have put up all of your Christmas decorations (indoor and outdoor, even those some people might leave them up until Spring or even year-round.) Pretty much, once the run of the holidays are over and done with, there is an emptiness inside of you, and then you start to feel somewhat depressed by the gray skies, cold temperatures and the sun setting earlier than usual (Daylight Saving Time.)


This ranked at the top of almost everyone's list of goals for the new year (notice that I said "goals" and not "resolutions because we have the tendency to break our resolutions a few days or weeks in the next year, while goals are the destinations that we want to reach with the sense of real change, accomplishment and progress without the idea of failure crossing our minds at anytime.) The purpose here is to either lose weight or get their bodies toned for the summer. If you fall into this category, then go to your local Gym, sign up for a year-long membership (well, if you have the money for it) and get busy. Now, if you don't have the resources or the weather outside is bad, you can develop a workout routine in the comfort of your own home. Incorporate sit-ups, push-ups, jumping jacks, jump rope routines, etc. in your workout regimen. Just make sure that you exercise in moderation without the chance of straining any muscles or breaking any bones. Also, if you like to run outside regardless of the weather conditions, by all means go for it, but be careful. If you wear too much clothing while jogging, you will pass out once the exercise routine is over. At the same time, if you go out running without covering up your skin in the cold weather, you will catch hypothermia very quickly. So dress warmly and comfortably before you go out there to jog.

Mind Stimulation

We are all guilty of this. Anytime we come home after work, school or any other activity, we turn on the TV, sit down on the couch or our favorite chair and that's it. Since we only just watch television and don't do anything else, at times, one hour after another, our brains can turn to mush by being inactive. You see, our brain is a muscle and just like any other muscle, we have to strengthen it. So how can we do it? Since we can two things at once, here are some solutions while watching television, or better yet, do these activities away from the television:

1. Read the newspaper or book

It is important to learn what's going on in the world because you don't want to be the person that doesn't know anything about current events, sports news, and celebrity news. After you're doing reading the newspaper, why don't you pick up a good book and start reading it. In today's world, everyone is so busy doing something (work, school, other activities, etc.) that we just can't slow down and relax. One way to relax is to get yourself something to eat, a hot or cool beverage, a book, a comfortable place to sit and just read.

2. Taking a class

Whether it is in the classroom or online, try to learn something new. If you really think that you seen it or heard it all before, you haven't. By taking a class, it allows you to learn something that you have never heard before and you can use the valuable information either at your job or for future reference in your personal life. Also, you can learn something outside of the classroom as well. If there is a specific hobby that you are into, then learn as much as you can about that activity. The knowledge you'll pick up while doing the research will show that you have a serious passion about something (i.e. your hobby, activist work, etc.)

3. Doing a crossword puzzle or brain teaser exercises

By doing the crossword puzzle along with the brain teaser exercise in the newspaper (local or national), you can test how much you really know. The puzzles and exercises are designed to challenge you and determine how smart you really are. The exercises are fun and I strongly encourage everyone to try it.

4. Learn a foreign language

If you ever wanted to learn how to speak a foreign language, now is the best time to do it. Now granted, studies have shown that is best to learn a new language when you are a child rather than as an adult, but that should not stop you from pick up a book, CD, DVD or Mp3 and learn how to speak a foreign language. It takes time and patience to learn a new language but it will pay off in the long run.

The 4 above mentioned tips are exercises that will stimulate your mind, penetrate your soul and just make you feel good all over because in each activity, you are 1) Gaining knowledge and 2) Doing something that you would normally not do at all. I want everyone to try at least one or all four of those exercises. You never know, you might like it!


If you ever wanted to write that novel? How about that movie or television script? Better yet, have you thought about composing songs? Go ahead and just do it. The only person that going to stop you from doing it is YOU, so go and try it! Before you get started, do some homework and research how to do it. Once you are done, the first thing you must do before someone look at your work is copyright it immediately. As a writer, your worst fear is that you send your work off to a company before copyrighting it. Then, that company would reject your work, edit a few things here and there in your project, slap their name on it, and the next you know, they just stole your fame and fortune because your project is a smash hit. You could sue, but you will lose the case because there isn't documented proof that you copyrighted your work and they outright stole your project.


So you think you can dance, huh? Well, it is no secret that Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance are always in the top 10 or near the top of Nielsen's television ratings. Both shows are popular because of two reasons: 1) People like to watch other folks dance and 2) People love to dance. It is no mere coincidence that the number of people participating in Ballroom, Latin and Swing dancing has skyrocketed in popularity ever since both shows made its television debut a few years ago. If you ever wanted to dance, go ahead and try it. If you have two left feet and can't dance at all, well that should not stop you from seeing what you can do on the dance floor. You can learn how to dance with a dance instructor or even better, you can bring a partner along to help you out.


If you love to cook, but at the same time, prepare the same meals every single day of the week, why not give your regular dinner routine an extra kick by trying something different. Give it a shot by adding spicy and tasty dishes to your menu. Learn how to cook different types of meals such as Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Korean, etc. and you will be surprised how it will turn out. If you never cooked anything before in your life, give it a shot and see what happens. Of course, it is by trial by error, and you will make some mistakes along the way and that's all right. Don't worry if you mess up, because we're all human and all of us have either burned up a dish or the meal didn't come out as originally planned. With repetition, creativity and patience, you can cook anything for anyone at anytime. Who knows, you could carve out a cooking career and become the next Paula Deen or Gordon Ramsay.

Playing an instrument

When you were a child or teen, did you ever play an instrument, or thought about it and never got around to it? Well, it's never too late to pick an instrument and learn how to play it. It doesn't matter if you're 8 or 100 years old, if you are interested in playing music, by all means, go for it. First, decide on which instrument(s) you like to play. Then, select a music teacher/instructor and learn music theory (major/minor chords and scales; the importance of time signature; find out how to find out what key a specific song is in; etc.) As a piano player, I know about the ups and downs of playing an instrument. You can never get bored playing an instrument because each musical style (Pop, Rock, R&B, Jazz, Blues, Funk, etc.) presents a new challenge and at the same time, it's a lot of fun learning those styles, too. If you want to be successful in playing an instrument, here are some my suggestions:

1) Time

You don't have to practice all day long in order to become really good in play an instrument, especially if you other obligations going on in your life right now (work, school, etc.) The minute that you have come free time, practice as much as possibly can. The key word here is practice because it doesn't matter how long you practice, but rather how many times a week you should practice. If you can't practice everyday, make it 5 to 6 times a week.

2) Patience

Okay, if you have never play an instrument before, you will get frustrated after a while because the song you are learning right now doesn't sound like the way that you want it. My advice is simple: start off slow and steady, and when you feel comfortable, then pick up the tempo of the song. The biggest thing that you have to realize when you begin playing an instrument is that you're not going to be great overnight. It takes a lot of patience and the desire that you want to become one of the best instrumentalist out there right now.

3) Repetition

As the old adage says: if you keep doing something over and over, you're going to better each and every time. The same is true when playing an instrument. Not only you must play with your favorite instrument on a regular basis, but also learn the major and minor scales and chords. Also, once you master the art of memorizing and playing a song without having the sheet music in front of you, then you are on your way to become a true artist.

Get out of the house

When the weather outside is fairly decent and if it's not too cold outside, then get out of the house as often as you can. While you're out, do some fun such as going to the movies, join an organization, participate in volunteer work, etc. Hibernation might be cool if you're a bear, but cabin fever is not the way to go if looks and feels temperature-wise okay outside.

If you are still feeling depressed as I finish up this article, cheer up. Spring is not that far off, but at the same time, you only wish that it would come fast enough.

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