Winter Survival

Holidays, rapidly failing economy, impending family time, holiday parties, and enforced shopping -- it's a heady mix of emotions, including (but in no way limited to) excitement, nervousness, stress, and, in the best moments, hope.

Winter survival tactics are in order.

First, children of the eighties/nineties
, I suggest that you, right now, create a Pandora station with "Rump Shaker" by Wreckx-n-Effect as the seed. Seriously, there is something about this song that makes the best dance station ever. Ever. I don't understand why this is, but it is. It doesn't seem possible. Algorithms are incredible. The song isn't that great, yet somehow Pandora translates it into a station of all songs that make me want to dance. (Warning: the above video is slightly NSFW, in a weird early 90s way.)

(If you are of another generation... try the Rump Shaker Solution(tm), but I have no guarantees for you. There is very likely some other magic song that seeds the ultimate mix for the folks born at the same time as you. What is this song? Leave a comment.)

The rest of this advice applies equally to all generations.

Next, breathe deeply. That sounds like, duh, but when you pay attention to your breathing, you'll see how often you aren't breathing deeply. I attended an amazing workshop by Robin Rose a few years ago, in which she explained how stress triggers a fight-or-flight response, which causes shallow breathing. This sends you right into the lizard brain due to lack of oxygen. Breathing deeply is the only way to access your monkey brain. Try it the next time you're freakin' out.

Suggestion three, consider a light box. (Shout out to my sisters and brothers and others in windowless offices!) I did some research: this one is my favorite so far. Suggestions? Leave a comment.

Finally, cheap tropical vacation. Is this possible? Ideas? Leave a comment. Seriously -- how can I pull this off for no money?