The hits just keep coming friends, as if we didn’t have enough to worry about, here comes winter again. We may not be able to stop what’s coming, and certainly can’t control the weather, so preparation is more critical then ever. Winter can be very depressing, particularly folks who suffer from SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, and this one will likely be far worse than usual due to mask mandates, social distancing, cancelled holidays and endless lockdowns.
Everyone should have a ‘get home bag’ and depending how harsh the weather gets where you live you may need to add some items you might not normally carry. When I lived near Chicago I would carry an additional duffel bag in my car in case I ran into trouble. I would carry 2 complete changes of clothes, extra socks and boots, candles, warming packs, bottled water and snacks. This was not a replacement for my get home bag, this was in addition to what I already carried daily. If roads/conditions became dangerous while at work or traveling I could simply check into a hotel and wait it out. If my vehicle broke down or got stuck in the snow, the extra supplies would enable me to stay warmer for longer. This might not really be an issue in warmer areas, but it’s always a good idea to keep that gas tank topped off.
If you were in an area where a power hungry politician ordered you locked down, out of work, and threaten with fines just for breathing some fresh air, you likely had to find something to do with your time. However, if you’re like me and have been living, working and shopping as usual (sort of) then you might need to find something fun to beat back the winter blahs. Find something, anything other than sitting in front of the boob tube. Find something fun or productive (possibly both!) to stay busy and keep your mind sharp, don’t let Netflix rot your brain. Learn a new skill, learn an instrument, do puzzles, exercise, get creative – whatever provides a healthy distraction from our current situation.
Finally, now would be a good time to do a little car maintenance; top off fluids, check the tires and replace if needed, and always keep that tank more than half full at all times. Have you tested your furnace or heaters? Have you tested your back up heaters and checked fuel supplies? Check your fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and make sure you have an escape plan. 2020 has been a pretty nasty ride and it isn’t over yet, it’s important to pay attention to what’s going on, but it’s also important to protect your sanity. I think we’re in for a long, hard winter; hope for the best, prepare for the worst.