Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs (without taking a cruise in the Caribbean)

As I mentioned yesterday, winter can really get me down. When I find I'm coming down with a case of the seasonal blahs, I fight it with some of these things:

1. Let the sunshine in! The first thing I do every morning (after starting the coffee maker) is open up the blinds. Even on cloudy, dreary days, the natural light comes in and brightens up our day.

2. Play outside! It's hard to get motivated to go outside when it's cold, but fresh air does wonders for the spirit! Bundle up, take everybody outside, and enjoy the crisp air!

3. Bring the horseplay inside! This might be harder if your kids are bigger. Since mine are 4 and 1, we can easily run, wrestle, bounce and play inside without anyone or anything getting hurt. One of my kids' favorite things to do is run, back and forth and back and forth (and backandforthbackandforth) from our dining room to our living room. It burns energy, it's good for them, and it gets the winter wiggles out!

4. Break out the board games! When you're inside most of the day, it's too easy to sit in front of the TV or computer. Make a point to turn off the screens and tune in to each other. Board games, puzzles, crafts, even just coloring together are great ways to exercise creativity and imagination.

5. Create something! Bake cookies. Rearrange your mantle. Scrapbook. Make beaded necklaces with your kids. Paint that old chair that you've been wanting to revamp. Creativity is great for self-expression and mental rejuvenation!

6. Explore! Get out of the house and go somewhere! Go to a different library, a different mall, a museum, a park. Take a drive to a part of town you haven't seen before and spend some time exploring. If your kids are older, they can help you plan your excursion and even map out your adventure!

7. Learn something! Have you always wanted to learn to crochet? Knit? Sew? Make bread? Photoshop? There are so many great tutorials available online, and winter is perfect for trying out a new skill. I love to knit, and every winter I manage to learn a few new techniques.

8. Plan for spring! Map out a garden. Make a list of family outings you'd like to take in the upcoming months. Design a sandbox to build for your kids in the spring.

9. Take a Time Out! Sometimes all it takes to shake the blahs is a nice Time Out. For me, this would probably look like a quiet, sunny coffee shop, with my Kindle and a snack and no children. (That last part is key.) Winter brings with it a lot of togetherness, and sometimes all of that togetherness makes it hard for a Mama to think! Taking a Time Out helps to clear the cobwebs and refresh the mind.

10. Serve! There is no better way to work through problems than to serve others. Help a family member with a project. Work with a church group. Volunteer with a charitable organization. Help an elderly neighbor with snow-shoveling and errand-running. The possibilities are endless!

What do you do to get through the long days of winter?

For more great Top Ten Tuesday lists, visit OhAmanda.com!


Musings of a Housewife said...

I struggle with the winter blahs too and this is a great list. I wonder if my diet will help ward off those winter blues this year. I'm kind of anxious to see. So far so good, but we're hardly into it and it's sunny out so that helps!

Aiming4Simple said...

I like your list. We've done some of these things recently. Actually, yesterday, we visited a nearby zoo for the first time ever!

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead said...

Great list! We go out together at least once a day to walk the dog and explore. It might take a while sometimes to get somewhere with a 2 year old but I know those moments are more important than the pile of work waiting for me at home...or so I always try to remind myself. :)

Today we did some baking together and we're always finding some sort of trouble to get into. And thankfully my daughter loves playing with our dog (even though the dog would rather have peace most of the time) so it's always entertaining. Puzzles are a new fav in the house too!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog said...

This is my kind of list, Jeni! Great ideas!! :-)

Jessica Heights said...

These are great tips! I'm blessed that my kids are also little...we just run around inside to our hearts content! :)

Betty @ http://peacecreekontheprairie.com said...

I like to blast the Praise and Worship music and dance with my children. Who doesn't enjoy a little Toby Mac?