The January doldrums—if you live in the northern hemisphere, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. The days are getting a minute or so longer each day, but the dark days of winter are not receding near fast enough to keep your mood from plummeting into the abyss.
So is there anything you can do about this? I mean, short of throwing a hand grenade into a frozen pond to liven things up while you innocently tell the authorities you were just making a few ice chips for your alcoholic beverage…
Well, as it turns out, you can s-t-r-e-t-c-h your way into feeling better. The yoga enthusiasts will no-doubt say they knew this all along, but “according to one European study,” by regularly stretching your back and shoulders and hips, you can increase your brain’s endorphin production and cut your risk of grumpy moods in half.
Now, I don’t know how many people were involved in the study, or how they measured that “half” mark, but I do know that at this point in January, I’ll try most anything (short of lobbing hand grenades, of course) to banish my blues.
So if you happen to see me in the coffee shop, down on my hands and knees, arching my back high like a cat—don’t worry. I’m just attempting to keep from telling some tourist that the easiest way to get to Seattle from here is to drive north through Ocean Park and take the shortcut across the bridge to South Bend.