Mississippi has been through quite some chilly weather. I think most of us are ready to unsubscribe to our Alaskan trail. While I personally love the freezing cold, iced roads aren’t the most convenient.
While the weather is heating up slightly, it is still winter, and there are still many chilly days to come. Many people in north Mississippi are still snowed in. Southern Mississippians are not snowed in, but many are staying inside to stay warm.
While staying inside is fun for some, for others it can be difficult. Here are five ways to beat the winter blues!
From charades to chess to Uno, games are always fun. And if you live alone? That’s okay! There are ways to enjoy the games without having anyone there physically. Zoom your pals for a game of charades. Download apps to join in on virtual games with your loved ones.
I feel like winter is the best time of the year to drink warm beverages. From tea to hot chocolate, nothing beats snuggling into your couch with a cup of warm tea or hot chocolate. My favorite is the Starbucks one with marshmallows.
Did you know that there are studies that show that movement alleviates depression and anxiety? The great thing about movement is that you can do it alone or with others, and you don’t have to go outside to do it. Pull out your yoga mat or turn on an upbeat dance video and get to moving!
Taking time out to journal is therapeutic and makes you a better writer (if you’re into improving your writing). Furthermore, it’s a way to track your feelings. One of life’s coolest moments is when you read something you wrote years ago and are able to be placed back into that moment. It is almost like time travel!
Whip up a Soup
What is the best food to eat on cold, winter days? If you guessed “soup”, you are correct!
Soup is delicious, comforting, and pretty easy to make. Today, I am going to share one of my favorite soups with you all: lentil soup.
Lentils are full of fiber and are a great source of protein. They are considered to be part of the legume family. This soup is super simple, tasty, and can be eaten with white or brown rice, potatoes, or garlic bread!
- 1 cup of brown lentils
- 1 cup of low sodium chicken broth (feel free to use regular chicken broth)
- ¾ of a cup of water
- ½ teaspoon of minced garlic
- Chopped ½ bell peppers
- Chopped ½ onion
- Chopped 2 stalks of celery
- 1 teaspoon of butter (olive oil is a great option, too)
- Black pepper
- Red chili flakes
- Chicken bouillon cube
First, you’ll want to add the butter to a hot pan. After it has melted, add the chopped bell peppers, onions, and celery to the pan. After it has softened slightly, add minced garlic.
Sautée until the mixture is fragrant. Now, you’re going to want to add the lentils to the mixture. I’ve seen that sauteeing them first adds more flavor to them. Sautée lentils along with the veggie mixture for roughly 3 minutes.
Season the lentils with the black pepper, red chili flakes, and basil and sautée for another minute. Then, add chicken broth and water to the pan. Bring to a boil and add chicken bouillon. Mix everything and bring to boil again. Allow the soup to boil for another 3-5 minutes. Afterwards, place the lid on the pan and reduce heat. Let cook on low heat for 15 minutes OR until lentils have softened. Turn heat off, and let it cool to your personal desired temperature and serve alone or with rice, smashed potatoes, or garlic bread.
The fun part about this soup is that it can be modified to fit your personal taste. Let me know if you try this soup. Feel free to add a bay leaf or remove the red chili flakes. Add as much or as little seasoning as you’d like. This will store well in the fridge for about 3 days and can be frozen for at least a month.
Being cooped up in the house can be mentally draining for many people. Remember that there are plenty of activities to engage in to make yourself feel better and to beat the winter blues! What is your favorite activity to beat the winter blues?