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How to Survive The Longest Winter To Ever Exist

Today is Blue Monday, which means it’d be the most depressing day of the year if it was any year but this one (where every day is as depressing as the one before).

So while I’m not a psychologist, psychiatrist, therapist, doctor, or overly responsible and/or mature person, here are the ways I suggest you navigate through what feels like the longest winter to ever exist. None of these will solve anything, but they will at least make you want to scream into the void a little less. Let’s do this.

1. Eat chocolate cake and/or any dessert for breakfast
This isn’t me being whimsical, this is me typing this between bites of the chocolate cake I made this weekend. I’m eating chocolate cake for breakfast because everything feels awful, and I am certain that granola and like, some fancy cheese or milk product (things I hate/feel sick after eating), will make everything feel worse. I want to eat cake, so I am going to eat cake. You can’t stop me, I don’t care. What’s going to happen? Honestly, what? I’m not listening. Give me the cake. Give me the cake and give me the coffee. Be the grown up your kid and teen self would be in awe of. (And mine would walk into the ocean if I told her I got up every day and drank a smoothie.)

2. Literally only watch what you want
You know how we’re all feeling super pressured to watch every single TV show that’s ever been made in the history of time and space? Stop it. Don’t. Watch what you want. Your time is precious. Your free time is even more precious, and you’ll be livid if you realize you’ve spent six hours of it watching that series everyone loves and you don’t understand and now it’s bedtime and you were going to check out tonight, but you spent it scrolling through Twitter trying to get why everyone’s into crying so much during This Is Us.

Like, I’m sure This Is Us is great. I’m sure it’s wonderful. But if I wanted to cry every week, I would watch the episode of The OC where Seth leaves on a boat and Ryan goes back to Chino while “Hallelujah” plays. Now turn up that BBC special on Queen Elizabeth II or get out of my face.

3. Leave the house
I say this as a person who lives alone and who, over the holidays, spent about seven straight days at home with the flu and with deadlines and morphed into every character that descends into madness at the end of a Victorian ghost story. So leave the house. I don’t care where you go. Go for a walk. Go buy a sweater. Sit in a coffee shop and judge the winter boots of everybody who walks in. Just interact with someone. A stranger is fine! A friend you know is going as stir-crazy as you! The sales associate at Sunrise records who has strong opinions on the Batman anthology. Stand outside and talk to the snow. Just, for the love of all that is good, get out of your apartment for a second, I don’t care how cute it is.

4. Accept that you can’t read all of it
So get off Twitter and go see The Post or something because if you sit glued to your phone, you will look up and it will be 8 p.m. and you will feel sad and angry and frustrated and defeated. It is fine to take a break from the news. You need to take a break from the news. It’s the news! It’s not going anywhere! You’re allowed to go to the mall, for heaven’s sake. DO NOT BE A MARTYR FOR THE SAKE OF READING ABOUT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. Have some banana bread and put your phone down! You’re not less responsible, I swear! Exclamation points.

5. Wear the shit you like
And I mean this as in makeup, clothes, shoes, coats, all of it. Fuck it. Wear that thing you want. In fact, wear only what you want to wear. Why do you have that jacket you hate still? In what world are you going to decide that it’s fine? You hate it. Get rid of it. It’s taking up closet space and you feel like a large rectangle when it’s on. Same with those pants. They didn’t work. Move on. It’s fine. Our time is limited, wear the things you are confident you could confront your worst enemy in and walk away feeling even better.

In fact, that’s a great rule (so thank you, me): dress like you’re about to confront your greatest enemy every day. Dress to make yourself powerful, and burn the rest.

So will any of these make winter less terrible? Probably not, because it feels like -20 and they’re calling for snow today and there’s nothing any of us can do about it. But at the very least, you will have eaten food that you like, are wearing clothes that you love, and aren’t watching anything you don’t want to. So I mean, at least there’s that. You’re welcome, and I’m here for you.

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