Dealing with winter blues
It’s that time of year again, with short days and cold nights. Day of Giving celebrations are over and now there is little to look forward to except the distant promise of spring, and the knowledge that the days are getting longer from here on out, even if the coldest months are to come. So what are the best ways of wrapping up warm and keeping cheery? Here we divulge some advice on dealing with the winter blues.
Everyone knows being cold is miserable, so make sure you keep well wrapped up at all times. Wool blends are the best fabric for keeping warm and you can pick up some cheap jumpers easily at the marketplace – check out the Cosy Red Snow Jumper or the Hand Knitted Jumper. If you have NC to spend consider splashing out 150NC on Winter Trousers, or 200 NC on Ski Trousers and Boots to keep your legs nice and toasty. If you are looking for Neopoint only purchases your best bet is to get some species specific trousers to get a nice sung fit. Consider layering up with a nice pair of woolly tights underneath if it is really cold!
For coats, the Long Fur Coat is a good value purchase available for Neopoints, whereas the Warm Puffy Jacket is a sure way to keep warm whilst running errands although as a retired NC item you will need to find another Neopian to trade with.
Accessorise with some toasty hats such as the Warm Shoyru Hat, Wintery Ogrin Hat and Winter Scorchio Hat or go for a bit of warm fun with the Abominable Snowman Hat. NC options include the ever-so-cute Baby Winter Hat and there is a Crochet Winter Hat for grown-ups available too, although once again both of these items are no longer available so you’ll need to find a friendly trader. You will find plenty of gloves to choose from in the stores at this time of year so you are sure to find ones the right weight and style to suit your needs. The same goes for scarves, but if you are on a tight budget consider the Brown Winter Scarf for a classic look that goes with any outfit, and the Bundled Up Winter Scarf if you can find an NC trader.
Of course, you’ll also want to keep cosy in your Neohome, so consider installing a fireplace to sit in front of in the evenings (or throughout the day!) as they really pump out the heat. Also think about getting some blankets – you can huddle under them on the sofa or pile them onto your bed if you find yourself getting cold at night.
Although it is tempting to never leave the house during these months, you need to get yourself out and shake out the cobwebs. Make sure you get out in the middle of the day to soak up some weak sun and replenish vitamin D levels as this keeps you healthy and happy. Fresh air is always good for blowing away the blues and gaining some perspective, especially if you find some friends to take a walk or play games with. When you’ve got too cold, or too tired head to a coffee shop for some tasty Borovan to warm your hands and your hearts.
If you can face the cold, it is also a great time of year to do some star gazing, with extended hours of darkness if you can head into the countryside and away from any light you should be able to see some beautiful night skies. Perhaps you will see some shooting stars! If you want to gaze at the stars all the time then try out the Infinitely Shooting Stars Background (NC) or Shooting Star Background (NP). You won’t be disappointed with your choice.
Of course, if it is cold enough to snow then you should make the most of it and participate in some winter sports, from skiing to sledging to ice-skating there is plenty to try out and you will get warm very quickly once you get going! Don’t forget to make some snow angels and jump in a Jacuzzi at the end of the day. If you just can’t wait for snow at home you could always take a short holiday to Terror Mountain where they are well geared up for all kinds of winter fun.
Eat tasty food
Once you’ve been outside in the cold you’ll surely have worked up an appetite and winter has plenty to offer in the way of tasty and filling food. Try out new restaurants with friends and family, or try out some new recipes. 365.25 Borovan Recipes is a great book for those wanting to try out some tasty treats at home, if you are wanting a taste of sun even if you can’t see any sunlight then purchase the Tyrannian Dishes Recipe Book or the Secret Recipes of Mystery Island both of which will remind you of warmer days as you labour over your cooking pot.
As for restaurants, there are plenty of local opportunities in every town, but if you want something special then head to The Golden Dubloon. Based on Krawk Island you will be able to get some winter sun into the bargain. Frequented by the local, successful pirates you will certainly have a lively time there often with live music and singalongs. The food is very good, with a wide variety of things to choose from and all locally sourced. Also the cocktails are absolutely divine.
Take up a new hobby
A great way to beat the winter blues is to take up a new hobby, this will enable you to meet new friends, keep active and distracted. My Hobby Book is full of great ideas and suggestions for all kinds of new hobbies. You could take up stamp collecting (a very rewarding pastime, and you don’t have to have lots of Neopoints to make a very good start, although it can get expensive). If stamps aren’t your thing, then you could collect Neodeck Cards, avatars, or start a new gallery. If you aren’t sure about collecting then you can perhaps take up a new craft: try your hand at drawing and enter the Beauty Contest, or brush up your coding and enter the User Lookup spotlight contest. If you prefer writing then there are many ways for you to hone your craft: from entering the poetry competition, or storytelling contest to writing for the Neopian Times.
So keep warm, eat well, stay active and spend time with friends and before you know it, the sun will have reappeared and spring will arrive. Remember that this will pass and talk over your feelings with friends if you are feeling down.