I live in an area of Pennsylvania that received 30 inches of snow last weekend in blizzard proportions. You'd think we could just hunker down under a quilt, read and enjoy the down time. But... We take care of stray and feral cats and had worry about them. The service that was supposed to plow our walk and long driveway still hasn't arrived. Work is backing up because of taking care of storm problems like a leaky pipe and other snow related issues. The stress of winter can cause "the grumps."
Here are ten of my strategies to cope:
Chocolate--any kind. Hot, cold or in between.
Baking and cooking from remembered childhood dishes. There's a measure of comfort in that and I feel as if I'm fighting the elements.
Audiobooks--I find if I'm listening to an audiobook, I'm less distracted by what is going on around me.
Adult coloring books are great for my creative spirit and focus.
Breathing in the bracing cold air and try to remember there can be beauty in chaos. The moon on the snow the past 2 nights was gorgeous.
Connecting with neighbors who have the same plight. Conversation helps and it can even generate more coping ideas. Banding together helps isolation.
Calling elderly acquaintances to see how they are coping. They feel even more alone and isolated in situations like this.
Cuddle up with a throw and a fur baby.
Watching an old movie or series on DVD that I've saved just for this occasion.
Cleaning closets makes me feel as if I have some measure of control.
What are YOUR coping strategies to dispel the winter grumps?
GILT BY ASSOCIATION, the third book in my Caprice De Luca Home Staging Mystery series, is set in February. Although there are no snow storms in the book that match the blizzard of 2016, you can get a taste of Pennsylvania winters as Caprice works to solve a murder while dealing with the wintry weather. (Another coping strategy for me is reading a murder/mystery!)
USA TODAY Bestselling Author Karen Rose Smith is an only child who delved into books at an early age. She learned about kindred spirits from Anne of Green Gables, solved mysteries with Nancy Drew and wished she could have been the rider on The Black Stallion. Yet even though she escaped often into story worlds, she had many aunts, uncles and cousins around her on weekends. Her sense of family and relationships began there. Maybe that's why families are a strong theme in her novels, whether mysteries or romances. Her 91st novel will be released in 2016.
Readers often ask her about her pastimes. She has herb, flowers and vegetable gardens that help her relax. In the winter, she cooks rather than gardens. And year round she spends most of her time with her husband, as well as her four rescued cats who are her constant companions. They chase rainbows from sun catchers, reminding her life isn't all about work, awards and bestseller lists. Everyone needs that rainbow to chase.
Karen looks forward to interacting with readers. They can find her at the links below.