Combating the Winter Blues

How do you fight the winter blues? Do you have a formula, or list of things that you do to help you get through the long, dark, winter days? Some people take additional vitamins while some light lots of candles or take hot [lemon-scented] baths. A cozy evening at home with a glass of velvety, red wine and a few squares of dark chocolate can also be helpful, but for me the best tools of combat include embracing the winter for all it is worth and planning adventurous outings. Whether it be riding my bike, decked out with winter tires, ice skating on frozen lakes, learning to cross-country ski, or taking an evening ceramics class, my time is filled with winter blues combating endeavors. 
One of the things I really miss during the winter however is going on picnics. There is something so cheerful and happy about sitting outdoors on a picnic blanket, drinking an elderberry soda, or other similar summery beverage, and enjoying a picnic with my husband or a group of friends. One thing I have realized however, is that picnics do not have to be limited to summertime, or mild spring and fall days. Winter picnics can be just as fun, albeit minus sitting outside in shorts or a summer dress. It only requires a bit of imagination and a spontaneous, adventurous spirit. 
Here are a few ideas for how you can make your own winter picnic… and in the process combat a few of those pesky, winter blues…
Picnic #1
A bottle of wine (or other desired beverage)
A selection of artisan cheeses with a variety of hard breads and crackers
An assortment of cold and warm salads, made yourself or picked up at your favorite deli
A crudités plate
A decadent dessert that you made, or picked up at a local bakery
Oh… and don’t forget your picnic basket and a blanket. No trips back and forth to the kitchen allowed! Clear out a spot in your living room, light some candles, sit on the floor and enjoy your picnic!
Picnic #2
A thermos full of hot chocolate
Almond butter and honey sandwiches, or your own personal favorite
A couple of clementines
Maybe a couple of cookies
This picnic is to be enjoyed outdoors and preferably involving an outdoor, winter activity such as a hike through the forest, a walk (or car ride) in the city to a nearby park, or an ice skating outing etc… 

I personally love drinking hot chocolate outdoors during the winter. Something about it really warms the soul and soothes those winter chills. 

What do you do to combat the winter blues?

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