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You're glaring at the mirror, a harsh, white light expertly aiming for your swollen eyes through drawn blinds. You rub your bushy brows, let out a shake-inducing stretch, the only bit of enjoyment you've experienced since the first frost warning, and yawn. You're knocked back at both the sight of your smushed cowlick and the stench of your dry, funky dragon breath. Have you shape-shifted into a black bear? "No," you croak, peering down at your pale hands half-expecting to find gnarly talons – you've contracted the Cold Weather Bug (CWB).

Cold Weather Bug

CWB reaches its peak when nighttime has grabbed daylight by the cajones so that not only are you driving to work in the dark, you're arriving home as the last wavering flickers of sunlight dip below the horizon – if you're lucky.

Winter is a like a Chupacabra to the social life, an annual pathogen causing human hibernation. I've been known to spend full weekends in a makeshift fort consisting of my bed, some sweats (sans the tush-adjectives, because honestly there's nothing "Sexy" sealed under that comforter) and a hefty supply of Pepperidge Farms products – only the essentials. To beat the dragging monotony of winter, I've learned to employ a few techniques to keep the Cold Weather Bug at bay. Here are some of them:

  • Meditate? – The question mark is intentional because honestly, meditation is like hibernation to me. Got too much goin' on in the ole skull. BUT cranking up "Free Bird" and air-guitaring the solo is a great way to start the day. Whatever, I can be cliché, it's MY guitar solo. Or you can choose one of these tunes. FYI, a remote makes a fantastic microphone.
  • Eat foods that beat winter depression – Surprisingly the list includes cereal, fish, dairy and peanut butter. I don't know about you but the act of consuming ants on a log gives me a free pass to act like a 5 year old. Polly-O String Cheese anyone?
  • Peel yourself off of the couch – And for J Hoobastank C's sake, take a shower first THEN get out. Socializing and doing things you love, for me it's going to concerts, really helps boost your mood. Kicking butt and parking myself in front of Paavo Lötjönen of Apocalyptica during a particularly fantastic Metallica cover last winter held me up through spring.
  • Get some more light – While I don't recommend donning your skivvies during the arctic blast, getting more sunlight is essential. Divine Caroline recommends using full spectrum bulbs indoors, plus you can rock that post-holiday food-baby in last summers swimwear without shame!
  • Use the holidays as an excuse to exercise – Exercise has been known to boost those feel good neurotransmitters. While you don't have to dive gluteus-first into P90x, pick up a Wii and bowl the bejesus out of that second helping of mac n cheese!

The most important thing you can do to beat the Cold Weather Bug is to simply do something. So whether you're trying to reenact your own Deschenel - Levitt duo or parking at your closest coffee shop to write "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo Occupies Wall Street the Musical" just put the Skyrim down and enjoy life off the couch! What do you do to beat the CWB?

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