Time to battle the winter blues

Every good coach has to keep his team motivated, even in the toughest of times, like January in Chicago. In this week’s column we attempt to do just that — with an emphasis on attempt — as I realize we are indeed fighting a pretty stiff opponent here.

I call it the “Jan Slam,” the post-holiday comedown, and boy it can hit hard — pow! — like a smack in the face. The thrill, excitement and general revelry of the holiday season is long gone. New Eastsiders are left wondering what we are to do to keep away the doldrums of early darkness and extended cold.

But how to fight it?

The key is not “holing up” in your home. Ya gotta get out and about. It’s hard. The temptation to stay in and hunker down with the cold and wind outside is great indeed.

But finding a way to be around people and activity is key.

Try afterwork socializing, exercising at the gym, going shopping or out for a simple walk. Being out and about can lift the spirits. Visiting museums, people watching in the park or while sitting in your apartment lobby can also be effective. Basically, you should do anything, as long as you are around other people.

It’s a battle no doubt. The “Jan Slam” can hit quickly and decisively — often when you least expect it.

So, remember Coach’s remedy — get out there and stay active and involved, and fight the blues by looking the month squarely in the face and saying, “Hey, January, that all you got?”

Native Chicagoan Jon Cohn has worked as a high school coach, youth coach, recre- ational director, sports official and radio and TV sports announcer.

Besides the New Eastside News, Cohn writes a weekly sports column for a sub- urban paper and has completed his first book, Stuff People Might Want To Know (From Someone Who Really Shouldn’t Be Writing A Book).

— Jon Cohn | Community Contributor

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