The holiday season is a time for joy and family, spending time with loved ones to celebrate what matters most, and general merriment. From January onward, however, the time for festivity winds down into plain old (and cold) winter. With shorter days, piles of snow, and chilly temperatures, winter can feel like a seasonal sentencing of three months of misery. This year, however, let’s reject the notion that winter can’t be just as fun as summer without breaking the bank, and exercise our right to enjoy life no matter the weather forecast.
Chances are you’re already binge-watching an episodic series on Netflix, Amazon, or any of the multitude of streaming services; but with masses of content readily available at your convenience, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices. Not to mention, because we’re watching episode after episode of our favourite shows, they have an effect on our moods that differs from when we had to wait a week for cliff-hangers to be resolved (you know, back in the stone age). In an effort to take the guess-work out of bingeing, we’ve chosen a few shows to keep you entertained and upbeat when you’re stuck inside this winter:
Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – This charming Amazon sitcom from Amy Sherman-Palladino, creator of Gilmore Girls, follows the journey of Miriam Maisel as she embarks on her blossoming career as a stand-up comedian, while balancing a new job and hectic home-life in late 1950s New York. Now in its second season, Mrs. Maisel is sure to keep you smiling and entertained.
Great News – Despite not being renewed for a third season, executive producer Tina Fey’s latest laugh riot, Great News is available to stream on Netflix Canada. This workplace comedy, similar to Fey’s award-winning 30 Rock, follows a local news production consisting of quirky, sometimes cringey, characters we can’t look away from. Come for the all-star cast, featuring Andrea Martin, John Michael Higgins, and even Nicole Richie, and stay for the laughter that ensues from every episode.
The Good Place – Cheers alum Ted Danson returns to sitcom “heaven” in this charming and original tale in which a group of strangers are banded together in The Good Place. From creator of The Office and Parks and Recreation, Michael Schur, this NBC comedy doesn’t just keep you laughing but encourages viewers to look inside themselves and think about what it really means to be “good.”
If TV isn’t your thing or a snowstorm knocks your power out, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with feel-good books to get lost in:
The Classics on Project Gutenberg – Project Gutenberg is an online database of over 57,000 completely free e-books. If you’re looking to dig into a literary classic like Moby Dick or Great Expectations, this site has you covered. Hop on the nostalgia train and away from the worries of shoveling snow and below-freezing temperatures.
Self-Help – The winter months can leave us feeling stagnant both at work and in our personal lives; self-help books can keep you motivated. There are classic self-help books like Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway by Susan Jeffers, or The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck. If you’re looking for something more nuanced, try Rupi Kaur’s popularized poetry book Milk and Honey or No Matter the Wreckage by Ted Talk alum Sarah Kay. Each are readily available to purchase or download on Amazon.
Popular – When all else fails, trust in popularity. Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians inspired the summer 2018 blockbuster hit by the same name and is only the beginning of the best-selling book series. The 2012 novel Wonder, a heartwarming tale about a young boy with Treacher Collins syndrome, made its way to the big screen as well in 2018 in the motion picture starring Julia Roberts. As the old saying goes, the book is always better than the movie.
For some, these suggestions simply aren’t enough to compete with looming sadness during the winter months. Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly known as SAD, is a mental illness that presents itself when sufferers aren’t receiving enough sunlight. Despite the clever acronym, SAD shouldn’t be taken lightly. If this disorder is seriously impeding on your quality of life, it may be time to invest in a SAD lamp. SAD lamps are a form of light therapy that work to supplement the loss of sunlight during winter in 20- to 30-minute daily sessions facing your light box.
If a SAD lamp still isn’t doing the trick, it may be time to talk to your doctor about starting (or increasing) your dose of anti-depressants during the winter. If your condition isn’t detrimental but is still taking its toll, you have options to keep the blues at bay.
Jasmine Cormier | Contributing Writer