Monday, already? The weekend flew by! The good (and bad) news is, we got an ice storm last night, so I’m working from home today. A lot of the schools in the area are delayed or closed, so I didn’t want to risk driving in. I’m thankful to have a job that can be done from my laptop!
After a couple of weeks of ice and snow, the weather has got me feeling a little bit down. I’m guessing many others are feeling the same way, especially after the rush of the holidays has ended. Because I typically experience these feelings every winter, I’ve taught myself a few ways to beat the winter blues, and hopefully, they’ll help you too!
1. Watch your favorite TV show(s). It’s a struggle to get out of bed in the morning when it’s icy and cold outside, but knowing that I have something to look forward to after work helps me get to work and get through my day. For me, this often means looking forward to my favorite (and sometimes cheesy) TV shows. TV is something we bond over, so it’s fun to watch a show (my Monday night show is ‘The Bachelor’) and then discuss it on Twitter, or with friends and family!
2. Light a candle. It’s easy to wish winter away…to say, “I’ll feel so much better when spring is here!” And while that statement is probably true, sometimes it’s good to give in to winter and enjoy it while it’s here. One of my favorite ways to do this is by turning off the lights, lighting a candle, and curling up under a blanket. I feel a little guilty doing this when it’s nice and warm outside, so winter is the perfect reason to do so now!
3. Sit in front of the fireplace. Going along with what I said above, there’s no better time to sit and lounge, especially in front of a fire, than when it’s cold and snowy outside! One of my favorite weekend activities is reading a book in front of the fireplace. Our fireplace is in our living room, which is free from distractions (no TV or computers), so I love laying on the couch and clearing my mind.
4. Exercise. There’s nothing that boosts my mood more than a good workout. Even if it’s not possible to get out of the house and go to the gym, or hit the pavement for a walk or a run, there are plenty of workouts that can be done right at home. Right now I’m enjoying PiYo for a quick energy boost before or after work!
5. Eat well. If you’re not eating well, you’re not going to feel very well either. I’m all about the 80/20 rule, and I think it’s really important to get in 80% of nutritious foods, especially during a season when our immune systems are more vulnerable. Some of my favorite healthy winter comfort foods are lemon chicken orzo soup, creamy white chicken chili (if you’re extra health conscious, you can substitute the sour cream for Greek yogurt — I’ve done it and it still tastes good), and rice and bean casserole with guacamole.
6. Play like a kid. Do you remember feeling down in the wintertime when you were a kid? Me either. Probably because we were too busy playing! For an extra boost of energy, go sledding, build a snowman, pick up a coloring book and some crayons the next time you’re at the store (I find coloring so therapeutic), or play a board game with your spouse. Jordan and I built a snowman last year after being cooped up in the house for days, and it was fun to act like kids for an afternoon!
7. Spend time with loved ones. Perhaps it’s because I’m more on the introverted side, but when it’s gloomy outside, I have a tendency to want to curl up by myself inside. The thought of being social just doesn’t appeal as much to me in the wintertime. However, I know I’ll always feel so much better once I do get out and socialize. Some of my favorite ideas: meet a friend for coffee, have friends over for dinner, host a football watching party (my in-laws hosted one last night, and it was nice to get out and see everyone!), go bowling, meet up with friends for a mid-week dinner date, or spend Sunday night dinner with your family.
8. Turn up the music. I listen to Christmas music from the first week of November until Christmas Day, so when the radio stations go back to regularly scheduled programming on the 26th, it takes some getting used to. Listening to music always lifts my spirits, though, so in the wintertime, I tend to listen to artists who have a cozy, holiday feel without actually singing about Christmas — Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble and Colbie Caillat are a few of my favorites.
9. Complete your favorite chores (and get to the rest later). Hear me out on this one — if you live where it’s cold, you know how hard it can be to complete chores/run errands when it’s zero degrees outside. The reality is, everything might not always get done when you want it to, and that’s okay. That’s why I like to pick my favorite chores and do those first — getting something done is better than getting nothing done. My favorite is grocery shopping. Even if I can only drive 20 mph to get to the store, once I get there, roaming the aisles at Super Target is calming and fun to me. For you, it might be cleaning out closets or finally getting to the bottom of the laundry basket.
10. Treat yourself. When you need a little pick-me-up, treat yourself to something you love. Maybe it’s a massage or a haircut, a little bit of online shopping, a cookie from your favorite bakery, or even a new book from the library. Having little things to look forward to always lifts my spirits.
How do you beat the winter blues?