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Four Alternatives to Beat the Seasonal Blues

Four Alternatives to Beat the Seasonal Blues

It's the Holiday season, and if you're like me, you know that there are few things better than a mug of hot chocolate and 14 episodes of "The Office" to cap off a long, hard day to help avoid the craziness. In an age where work and other responsibilities demand more and more of our time, it can be easy to snuggle into the deep recesses of our favorite sofa to forget about life for awhile, even when you need to finish your shopping.

Trust me, I've been there. And while I was up to date on almost every new hit TV series Netflix had to offer, it also came with a fair amount of disadvantages: lack of productivity, slight (ok, medium) weight gain, virtually no social interaction, and remote-induced carpal tunnel syndrome, to name a few.

But lucky for us brave couch surfers, Kalamazoo has a number of vibrant social activities for the over-worked, over-stressed, friend-seeking adults in the community. All of course when we have everything else done like wrapping presents, and sending Christmas cards to the random cousins seen just once a year. So the next time you hear the faint siren song of your lonely sofa, paired with that episode where Phoebe writes "Smelly Cat," strap on your warmest winter boots and get out there! Here are a few ideas to get you started:

1. Trivia
Kalamazoo hosts Michigan Team Trivia on a weekly basis. Whether you're one of those people that knows everything about everything, or just in the mood to laugh at your friends with a beer or two, Kalamazoo Trivia is for you. Grab a few buddies and head on over to Old Burdick's at Wings West on Monday nights at 7pm. And the best part? It's always free to play; so your holiday shopping budget is untouched.

2. Sports
Maybe you've realized that the heart shaped impression on your couch is trying to guilt you into a fitness realm. But who wants to compete with those first of the year resolution pilgrims at the gym? Now you don't have to. Kalamazoo is home to a wide variety of athletic teams and events. From co-ed rec league sports to marathon and fitness training, there are many opportunities to sweat out the stress and meet new people in the area.

So think about how much fun it might be to join an Adult Rec Volleyball or soccer team? There's even an organization in Kalamazoo called Sports & Social Club that is dedicated to adult league sports.

Then of course there's the multi-level YMCA Fitness Classes where everyone is sweating, and laughing together. And don't forget about the many area fitness clubs that offer specialized classes like barre, yoga, spinning and the list goes on...

Running is definitely this community's bag, so whether you're looking to start running or train there are plenty of options, here are a couple of suggestions to check out: Kalamazoo Area Runners, or Gazelle Sports, The Urban Herd.

3. Calling all Art Lovers
Looking for an upgrade from the aforementioned powder mix hot chocolate? Kalamazoo Wine & Canvas provides art and entertainment at various restaurants in the community. You (and a few friends) can eat, drink, and paint along with local artists in Kalamazoo - plus you can keep your art, or gift it to your loved ones for Christmas!

4. Cooking Class
Put down that remote and pick up a whisk! Food Dance located downtown offers a number of cooking classes for individuals and parties. From seasonal pies, to soups, and sausages these classes cover a wide assortment of holiday recipes, unique foods and decadent desserts perfect for the inner foodie in all of us. Or at least those of us who watch Food Network religiously.

There you have it folks, four 'no excuses' alternatives to your traditional weeknight habits of hot chocolate, and Netflix combo that you've secretly wanted to change. Whether you're a trivia junkie, an athlete, an artist, or a food connoisseur, Kalamazoo's got something for you. So the next time that patronizing pop-up taunts you at the end of your favorite series ??" (are you still watching?) - show your TV who the real boss is, and get out there and enjoy our community!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and yes- you can thank me later.

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