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5 Tips for Combating the February Blahs

As I am writing this, the wind is whipping in the NoDak and it is definitely feeling like a cold winter day. Mid February is about the time when the winter blahs kick in for me and I have to find ways to combat the dull drums because spring is still a while away, though certainly on the horizon.



If you struggle with these feelings of just wanting to crawl into bed and not do anything more than you have to this time of year, here are a few tips to get you through the rest of the month in a positive and healthy way.


  1. Get moving: Exercising helps the endorphins, which in turn will lift your mood. Stress and anxiety can make the winter blah feel even more disheartening, but a little bit of exercise can really help. On warmer days, go for a walk outside. Even if it is a brisk day, the fresh air helps so much. Go for a walk with a friend, take a new class through the gym or community ed, or dust off the exercise equipment that has been collecting dust at your house. It really will make you feel better.

  2. Take a class: Sign up for an art class, a floral arranging, stained glass, writing, or anything that gets you feeling creative. Even plan a get together with friends to make a craft project. It doesn't have to be anything over the top, but something that gets you excited to try something new. It always helps the mood to create.

  3. Give yourself a break: Sometimes we run and run and never stop. That is not good for the soul. It might be the perfect time to check out a new book from the library, curl up with a blanket and a cup of tea, and just take a breather. This costs nothing and can be just what you need to refresh and recharge.

  4. Stick to a routine: Even when you feel like sleeping in or going to bed early, it really is better to follow a routine. Don't skip working out because you are too tired or eating junk because you don't feel like cooking. The best thing to do is stay the course and stick to that routine.

  5. Try a new recipe: Eating healthy is always a good idea. It is especially true when you are feeling a little blue and need some comfort food. Instead of grabbing the junk food, this Tuscan Chicken recipe is a great meal option.


Tuscan Chicken

  1. INGREDIENTS

  • 1 small yellow onion

  • 3 cloves garlic

  • 1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (2 1/2 ounces)

  • 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (1/2 cup firmly packed freshly grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated)

  • 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 pounds total)

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning

  • 5 ounces baby spinach (about 5 packed cups)

  • 1 1/4 cups heavy cream

  1. INSTRUCTIONS

  2. Dice 1 small yellow onion (about 2/3 cup). Mince 3 garlic cloves. Thinly slice 1/2 cup drained oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes. Finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese if needed (about 1/2 cup lightly packed), or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought grated.

  3. Cut 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts in half horizontally (also known as butterflying). Pat dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.

  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the chicken in a single layer and sear until browned, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a large plate (the chicken will not be cooked through). Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil to the pan and repeat browning the remaining chicken. Transfer to the same plate.

  5. Reduce the heat to medium. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, if needed, and heat until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning. Cook until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Add 5 ounces baby spinach a handful at a time. Cook, stirring regularly, until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes.

  6. Add the Parmesan, 1 1/4 cups heavy cream, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Return the chicken and any accumulated juices on the plate to the pan and cook until the chicken is cooked through and registers at least 165ºF on an instant-read thermometer, 4 to 7 minutes. Recipe from: https://www.thekitchn.com/tuscan-chicken-recipe-23624913


What is your favorite thing to do in February to combat those winter blues?





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