I hate winter. I really, really do. It’s cold and dark and depressing and most of my cherished television shows are nearing their season finales. I may know deep down that I should be outside getting some exercise or being productive, but I’m just so comfortable in here with my computer. If you can’t–or won’t–banish your seasonal misery with humdrum outdoor excursions, fear not; the sensible use of electronic appliances will guide you through the gloom.
It’s freezing and rainy out there, but my desktop pumps out so much heat in its muscular graphic-generating wizardry that my toes are delightfully toasty. Forgo your heaters and radiators and get your favorite PC going with some stress testing. First the processor, then the graphics chip; set a test running, go microwave a snack or five, and return to a makeshift sauna. Make sure the computer is stable first, though, as you want to avoid anything bursting into flames. For a more exotic experience, place an air freshener next to the fan slots on your machine of choice.
Should you rather keep moving around the house, you can swap out your outdated earmuffs for wireless headphones. The soft cups will cushion your tender ears from the chilliest of air currents, while the catchy hooks (Christmas music optional) will inspire dance moves to keep your circulation working optimally. If you’re somehow still not perfectly heated, open games on all your phones and tablets and cuddle them like hot-water bottles. Valid warranty support is advisable.
I’m an anxious guy at the best of times, and wintertime is a breeding ground for my neuroses. What better way to keep my spirits up than by talking to my friends? Whether through chicanery on Facebook, tagging on Twitter, dawdling on Skype or swapping angry emoticons on plain-old instant messaging, it’s easier to feel sunny when you have someone with whom you can share your misery. The darkness breeds isolation, but the internet stands defiant!
You might not see yourself as a gamer, but at this point it seems like most internet users play games of some kind, even if they are just addictive Facebook time-thieves. Why traipse through howling winds and soggy mud to play trivia games with relatives when you can play them with your friends from the comfort of a cushy chair? If you are a big gamer, then you have plenty of options. Perhaps an MMO to keep you occupied, or a co-op campaign to give you and a friend a cheap and cozy way to whittle away the hours. If you think you have chores to do such as manually plowing the snow off your driveway, technology helps with that as well. Get yourself a remote control snow plow so you’d have more time to snuggle inside and keep warm.
All this cheery irreverence has a serious undercurrent, of course. Many people get seriously depressed during winter, and even the jazziest pep talk can’t make up for the effect a lack of sunlight has on mood. While it is important to get as much natural sunlight as possible, there is a strong alternative in the form of lamps that mimic the sun’s rays, ideal for sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder but also pretty useful for anyone who wants a lighter environment in the depths of yuletide season. This one is cheap and, according to reviews, fairly effective.
Have an Adventure
Maybe you’re tired and wondering what to do with your free time this holiday season. Maybe you just need sunlight and even the best SAD lamp can’t cut it. Well, with nothing but some documentation, some money, and the organizational power of your smartphone or tablet, you can rummage around for a last-minute deal on a flight to somewhere a little more pleasant at this time of year. I really like the layout of Kayak (available on iOS and Android), so give that a shot. If you find the right price, you can load up on eBooks, tablet crossword games, and music, and jet off on an exciting trip. Sitting on a sofa with a blanket, or lying on a lounger by a pool, mobile device in hand? I know what sounds better to me! (Mental note: rectify financial arrears. Bathe in sunshine.)
Just think what’s around the corner. Discounted goods in the Christmas sales, refreshed product lines in the New Year… there’s no off season for gadget aficionados. After all, everyone needs something to look forward to from time to time, so I say go ahead and eye that new phone! Ogle that new laptop! Picture that new home cinema setup! Spend your time marveling at the wonders afforded us by the technology we have, and the time for wearing shorts again will arrive before you know it.