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By Anna Murphy
New York, NY, USA

Anna Murphy
Anna Murphy

Last February, I wrote a column on how to survive the perilous winter months in NYC (i.e., the dark ages of January - April). Those tips were: to learn to like football, to join a competitive sports team and to create your own holidays. Well, it's 2013 now, and I'm a year older (and hopefully wiser), so some of my priorities have changed. Subtext: I've somehow morphed into a 72-year-old over the course of 365 days. It also may be the fact we've had an uncharacteristically cold winter here in NYC and being a homebody is exceptionally attractive.

So here goes, the 2013 winter survival tips:

  1. Make TV watching social. My girlfriends and I have been watching ABC's The Bachelor together for years. It always starts in January and airs on Monday evenings. It acts as the perfect distraction from the cold and the perfect excuse to break out the red wine glasses. We usually record the episodes and watch thirty-minutes delayed so that we can fast-forward through commercials. This means that we get some much needed catching up before critiquing the bachelor's one-liners and the girls' dress choices. I'm not a huge TV watcher, but this is arguably one of the best seasons for TV yet - so pick your poison. And if you don't have a TV, pick up a book and start a club.

  2. Take up an indoor hobby. Per my recent interview, everyone knows that for me it has been beading. Beading suits my small studio space well. It's not like my hobby could ever possibly be woodworking (being as I dwell in 200 square feet). But if that's your choice, and you have a place to do it (indoors), then by all means knock yourself out. If you are working with your hands and letting your creative juices flow, it distracts from the fact that you are cooped up indoors. Make something useful like a scarf, or learn to play guitar, or write haikus (these are all also on my to-do list).

  3. Anna Murphy and Sarah Mann
    at Father John Misty Concert
    Within the same vein as "making things," learn to cook. Save money for when the restaurant patios open and rooftop happy hours return to us in the spring. My preferred recipes as of late, quite fittingly, have been soups. You can make a huge batch and have it all week long. So not only is it affordable, but during the winter, soup is the optimal cozy meal. This would also be a good time to acquaint yourself with Pinterest. A million DIY ideas and recipes at your fingertips…you can't go wrong. Although you can get sucked in for hours at a time.

You're probably picturing me as a footy-pajama-clad hermit sitting in a pile of beads, watching reality TV while spooning soup into my mouth. And maybe that's exactly what is happening. But when else do you have the excuse to spend quality sedative time? Soon enough the sun will be back out, guilting us into activities again.


NYC Jan-April: How Only the Strong Survive - Part I


Anna Murphy enjoys long runs along the Hudson River, live music, vegan cookies and the Florida Gators.

All opinions expressed by Anna Murphy are solely her own and do not reflect the opinions of Stay Thirsty Media, Inc.

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