For many Americans, this winter has been one of the toughest in recent memory. Luckily, the imaginative art of “creative visualization” offers an innovative way to lower seasonal stress.
1. When a storm produces whiteout conditions, snow blindness can set in. In these circumstances, close both eyes, keep walking, and use creative visualization to picture yourself safe at home. You may also wish to visualize a thorough renovation or in fact a larger house with better financing.
2. If you must travel when winter storms threaten, be prepared by adopting 6-8 sizeable dogs from the local pound. Keep them with you at all times, along with some spare rope (dental floss or poultry twine will do in a pinch). If a blizzard strikes, find rubbish from the nearest dump and lash dogs to makeshift sled (an abandoned wicker coffee table is ideal). Mush to safety, visualizing a speech to the National Geographic Society on your heroic journey.
3. When texting from your cell phone while driving on an icy road, always use helpful abbreviations, such as “Rly Sno1ng HRD!” or “OMG LUS1NG KNTRL.” Visualize your hands returning to the wheel in the nick of time.
4. If you are caught in an avalanche, be aware that a rescue party may be delayed if the storm continues. Freeze your brain into a cryogenic “safe mode” by (1) plunging your head into the coldest area of the snowbank and (2) immediately ceasing all thought. Unfortunately, this means you will not be able to creatively visualize the future civilization that will use its superior technology to revive you. So you might want to pre-visualize it right now (underwater cities, etc.)
5. Ice skating is wholesome family fun, but be aware of the lurking hazards of thin ice. Visualize your loved ones successfully avoiding dangerous areas as they glide over a frozen pond. Also, send the lightest children out first.
6. When traversing the snowbound forests of Siberia in an overloaded sleigh and pursued by wolves, do not attempt to distract the wolves and save your party by throwing out a baby. Russian wolves grew savvy to this trick long ago, and will spurn infants as mere appetizers. Instead, visualize the wolves suddenly turning vegetarian. If by any chance that doesn’t work, jettison the adult who has that vague flirty thing going on with your spouse.
7. In the event of a sudden skid while driving on a frozen patch of road, remember to steer *into* the direction of the skid. Make this more effective by shouting “Yes! This is exactly the direction I meant to go!” and creatively visualizing your car upright on a level road in summer. As you crash through the guardrail, extend your visualization and see the yawning canyon below as a store where you are going to buy a new plasma television, marked down to an unbelievably low price.
Bill Tipper is the Managing Editor of the Barnes & Noble Review.