It’s January in Minnesota, which means, like most years, we haven’t seen temps above 0*F for a few weeks now, and the wind threatens to freeze our faces off if we do dare walk outside.
The kids are antsy from being cooped up inside, and we’ve all had our round with some sort of illness, for us its been respiratory, which has added to the all too well known winter blues.
It seems as the hubs and I get older, the winter blues hit us harder. Last year we had the saving grace of looking forward to our 10 year anniversary trip to Hawaii. This year, we are merely trying to survive, and celebrate things as simple as the sun peaking out every few days.
So how do we plan to survive the next several months until spring? Here are some thoughts.
1. Read some good books. During the summer months we are busy with playing outside, going to the lake, going for walks, etc. Being stuck inside during the winter is a great time to hunker down and curl up with a warm blanket, roaring fire, and a good book.
2. Play board games. The kiddos get pretty tired of being stuck inside just as quickly if not more so than we do. Playing board games is a great way to pass the time and spend some time bonding with one another.
3. Plan a stay-cation. Last year we had Hawaii to look forward to, which gave us something to be excited about when we were feeling the winter blues. You don’t have to plan an extravagant vacation to give yourself a mental winter break… book a night at a local hotel for a date night with your significant other. Or book at a hotel with a great water park for the whole family to enjoy as a break. Some hotels will even let you use their pool without an overnight stay!
4. Enjoy the snow. If you are lucky enough to have winter with snow, plan to enjoy activities you can only do when there’s snow. Make a snowman, have a snowball fight, go skiing or sledding. Making the best out of what you have is a big part in surviving anything, even snow! Don’t have snow? Head to an ice rink and do some skating instead!
5. Bake some yummy goodies. Baking is a great way to bond with the kiddos as well as teaching them a few skills. Measuring and counting can be a big part of baking some yummy cookies! It’ll also help warm up the house and give you a treat to look forward to.
6. Open the windows. It’s amazing what simply letting the sunlight into the house will do for ones mood! On the sunny winter days opening the blinds and curtains and letting that sunshine into the house will not only help warm the rooms, but the sunshine can also warm and energize your soul.
7. Build a bucket list. A trick I’ve learned to pulling myself out of a mental slump, such as the winter blues, is to dream of things I want to do and accomplish in the future. Think about places you want to go, things you want to accomplish, experiences you want to have. Do a little research, watch some YouTube videos, and dream big!
8. Go for a drive. Sometimes you just need to get out of the house, even when it is below 0*F. Being cooped up inside for too long gets us all a little antsy and sometimes all we need is a change of scenery. Warm up the car, bundle up the kids, pack some snacks and head out for a drive.
9. Exercise. Exercise is always good for the body and soul, especially when you could use an extra push of endorphin’s. Put on some music and throw in a workout dvd and get yourself moving!
If you are suffering from the winter blues, I hope you find some mental relief by doing one of the activities listed above.