A screenshot of the weather and temperature in San Marcos (Mostly Cloudy, 33 degrees) with snow flurries and snowflakes falling around.

Seven Tips to Beat the Winter Blues

By Anna Valdez
Blog Content Contributor

Today’s weather forecast calls for cloudy skies and more freezing temperatures. All I have to say is, gross. Coming from a town with a mostly hot climate, I have never been fond of cold, rainy weather. I am also not a fan of how it totally kills my energy and mood. It seems like the gloomy winter season has overstayed its welcome in San Marcos, and I’m ready for warm days on the river, vibrant skies and spontaneous lake trips. In the meantime, we’ll just have to wait for the cold to subside and find other ways to soak up as much warmth as we can get. Here are seven ways you can beat the dreaded cold this season:

1. Take advantage of what little sun there is

This one seems like a no-brainer, but sometimes the cold weather can completely drain you of any energy you have to go outside. Instead, you resort to staying indoors, cuddled up with a nice cup of joe and a sappy movie (see tip number seven), and there’s nothing wrong with that! Although when you do feel like going out and exploring, check the weather and take advantage of warmer periods forecasted for the day. Be sure to plan ahead so that you have more time for activities and can enjoy what little daylight Mother Nature has graced us with. If you make plans after 5 p.m., expect the temperature to drop back to cooler weather, and then it’s back to the cave!

2. Cook up a tasty dish

Nothing warms you up quite like a nice, carefully put together meal at home. If there’s one thing I miss about being back home, it’s home-cooked meals. I try to bring that piece of home with me into the kitchen whenever I cook. A perfect dish for this winter season is caldo de res, or beef soup. I’ve made it a couple times with my roommates, but I could never measure up to the way my mom makes it. If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, there are many recipes available online (there’s vegan options, too!) If you’re a beginner when it comes to cooking, I recommend trying to cook your own favorite dish for the sake of learning and just having fun with it. You may surprise yourself if your first fancy dish comes out tasting better than you expected.

3. Brighten your room with a plant (or five!)

There’s nothing quite like upgrading your space with a plant. Whether you prefer flowers, succulents or other green little beauties, a plant is a great way to add a pop of life and color to your living area. You can find lots of plant options at Walmart in the garden section, some of which require little maintenance. If you’re feeling fancy, Refinery29 offers a great list of online plant sellers you can shop from like Amazon, The Sill, Home Depot, Bloomscape and more. Not feeling the process of maintaining a house plant? You can also purchase an artificial plant or flower bundle at just about any department store like TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Target.

4. Treat yourself to some boba

Boba, also known as bubble tea, is my go-to treat after a long day. If you’ve never tried boba, here’s a sign to go buy yourself a cup now. Even on the coldest days, my friends and I will take a trip to Teapioca Lounge where I order my favorite: a strawberry banana smoothie with tapioca. Teapioca Lounge offers a variety of drink options like cream teas, coffee and even desserts. These sweet and delicious beverages are a perfect pick-me-up for even the gloomiest of days. Trust me on this.

5. Get pumped with summer favorites

Remember those summers where your favorite artists were coming out with some of the best vacation tunes? When the cold weather has got you down, I recommend turning to music, especially the type that takes you back to a relaxing and fun time. Here are some of my favorite feel-good, summer tracks that take me to a place where sunshine and good times reign all year long:

  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
  • “Chosen” by Blood Orange
  • “Enola Gay” by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
  • “Grapevine” by Tiësto
  • “Love My Way” by The Psychedelic Furs
  • “Marcel” by Her’s
  • “Marfa” by Wildcat! Wildcat!
  • “Rollin (feat. Future & Khalid)” by Calvin Harris, Future, Khalid
  • “Sun’s Out” by Hoops
  • “waves -Tame Impala Remix” by Miguel

6. Have a spa day

It sounds simple, but it just might help with that winter funk. Dedicate some time out of your day to take a short break from it all. Run a hot bath, slab on a face mask (my favorite is Queen Helene Mint Julep Masque), light a tropical-scented candle and stream KTSW’s fire tunes or podcasts for an afternoon of pure relaxation. Afterwards, take a few minutes to meditate. Imagine yourself out on a beach, the sun hitting your face, birds singing in the distance, away from the bitter cold of current San Marcos.

7. Sometimes staying indoors is the move

Sometimes it’s best to just call it a lazy day and refrain from any outdoor activity and that’s okay! If the forecast for the week looks something like temperatures under 50 degrees, cloudy skies and possible thunderstorms, then maybe going out isn’t meant to be. Time to bring out the plush blanket (you know, the one with the large animal print) and pick a TV show to binge-watch because it’s going to be a long, relaxing day. You deserve it.

Featured image by Anna Valdez.

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