How to Get Over Your Seasonal Affective Disorder and Pretend Like It’s Always Summer

I know that NYC hasn’t been disgustingly cold this season, but someone’s still got the wintertime blues (that “someone” is me). This time of year, I always turn into a humongous B– cackling at any poor soul who dares approach me as I perform my cold weather rituals of swaddling myself in layers of itchy wool, and pouring Big Gulps of hot tea down my gullet.  My Seasonal Affective Disorder all but literally transforms me into a shrivelled up old hag– hood up, “I don’t give a shit, it’s cold” outfit in full force, squinty eyes from the frigid wind blowing in my face, and– gross, but true– snot from that lingering seasonal cold crusted to my upper lip.  Do you suffer from the same hag-inducing winter syndrome?  Well, you should just buy a plane ticket to Mexico and relax on a white sand beach, duh!  Oh wait, that’s right– you don’t have any money.  Hmm, not even enough for one of those magical lights that you stare into to de-hag yourself?  Gawd, we’re really gonna have to get creative, here.  Okay, here are some cheap and easy ways to bring Endless Summer to you, no matter where you are.

Let’s start with your wardrobe.  Lately, I’ve been feeling that “stoned beach bum” look.  You know, like those guys with perma-tans and long, bleached out hair, who strum guitars around bonfires and go on trips to Fiji or Costa Rica and get all philosophical about being one with the ocean and shit (man-oh-man, I got all hot-and-bothered just typing that sentence!).  Anyway, those kinds of guys are beyond adorable, and so is their style:  loose, casual clothes with ethnic influences from their globetrotting surf voyages, and a dash of stoner/hippie flair.  Make the look wintertime appropriate by sporting a unisex wool baja or a poncho, which I see all over at thrift stores or eBay for under $10.  If you can score a vintage Pendleton to wear under it, you’ll really be on a surfin’ safari’.

To further establish that “I live in an orange VW Bus with a surfboard strapped to the top” look, buy some white Hanes crew neck sweatshirts and have a DIY tie dye party.  Throw down some newspaper on the floor of the dirty kitchenette in your apartment, and dip-and-dye your way to Endless Summertime stoner stylishness.

Also, just because it’s freezing outside doesn’t mean that our fickle friend, the Sun, has gone away.  Still making us squint, yet not warming our bodies, fight premature crow’s feet and leatherface with a pair of cheap vintage sunglasses from Etsy, or new ones by San Diego-based brand Solo (proceeds help provide eyecare in India).

Once you’ve transformed yourself into surfer cool while staying wintertime warm, you’ll probably be famished.  Well, if you can’t travel to the beaches of Mexico, then bring that South-of-the-Border deliciousness to you!  Throw on that poncho and get your culo to the nearest taco truck, amigos!  Gargantuan burritos are the perfect wintertime food because they are like giant logs in the fire pit of your stomach– they warm you up, keep you full, and make you feel so lethargic that you will be completely fine with sitting at home watching Telemundo instead of soakin’ up rays in Oaxaca.  I know, I know, that walk to the taco truck just seems so far– well, find a Mexican delivery joint if you want, lazybones, but just remember that the couple blocks you walk to the taco truck could keep you from turning into a full-on Costa Rican three-toed sloth this winter.

Once you slide that burrito down your throat with the ease of Shamu swallowing a sardine whole, you’ll no doubt want to wash it down with something.  Might I recommend some festive Abuelita Mexican Hot Chocolate, a.k.a. The Greatest Beverage Ever Created?  Super rich, a little spicy– not to mention featuring jaunty red-and-yellow packaging with a picture of a cheesin’ Mexican grandma–  Abuelita is the best way to add instant exotic warmth to your miserable wintertime existence.  I introduced my ex-roommate to Mexican Hot Chocolate, and the classy lady promptly posted the following Facebook status: “DAYUM, ABUELITA HOT CHOCOLATE IS MY SMACK!!!  I GOTS A MAJOR BONER FOR THESE SHITS!!!!”  Yep.  I mean.  I couldn’t have said it better myself.

If dressing like a surf bum and getting aroused by Mexican beverages doesn’t bring enough Endless Summer your way, then, well, you’re probably a frigid bitch anyway.  But wait, there’s one last hope to melt away that Ice Queen facade– a fake beach party in the home!  I once did this with my friend, Ally, and it was a total blast– we turned up the heater, wore short-shorts, blasted Beach Boys, lounged atop towels, and drank alcoholic smoothies with tiny umbrellas in them.  It was basically just like being at the beach, without getting sand in all of our crevices.

So there you have it– with a few ridiculous (and ridiculously cheap) items of clothing, a burrito in your belly, and a fun beverage in your hand, you’ll no doubt be cured of your Seasonal Affective Disorder without having to drain your measly bank account.  I mean, the only things you’ll be missing are the Endless Summer perma-tan and bleached-out tresses, which I can’t guarantee without the aid of self-tanner and Sun-In.  But use with caution– while pretty much everyone gets a major boner for Abuelita, no one gets off on an orangey tanorexic.

Photo credits: This Party Stinks on IceUnrealityGone Blue, Sweet and Sound Solo, Mex Grocer, Just Jared

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About the author

Carrie Laven - Pretty Penniless

Carrie Laven is a natural-born storyteller from California, but she lives in New York now. She likes dogs, nail art, and Mexican food, but mostly she likes scoring sweet deals at thrift stores. She tends to have a flair for the dramatic.