I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of winter. There are many reasons I live in Texas, you know aside from the fact that my husband’s job is here, and right smack front and center is the fact it has practically no winter.
But, there’s at least two weeks in the middle of January that are gray and miserable and cold. I don’t like cold. Or gray. Or miserable.
After many years I’ve figured out a few things that help me out.
1. Get out of your usual habit. Do you always start the school day the same way? Change it up. Go out to breakfast with the kids and bring your schoolwork with you. I guarantee it will bring a smile to your face. Or find a small field trip to take. A big hit with elementary age kids: pet stores. Heck, my kids even love the pet section of Wal-Mart with all of those fish. It’s a great chance to talk about some zoology!
2. Give to someone else. It’s really hard to feel sorry for yourself when you’re serving someone else. Really hard. Is there a family at your church going through a hard time? Cook them a meal, or run an errand. Bake some cookies (there’s math and life-skills. I still remember the math assignment in 5th grade where I had to double the cookie recipe). Take the cookies to your church office, or to the fire station. Or a less remembered community helper: paramedics, they work long hard hours and kids don’t tend to think of them as glorious.
3. Go for a walk. One of my kids favorite things to do is bring a trash bag with us as we go to the park. Then we spend 5-10 minutes picking up the park, and then the rest of the time playing. Believe me your kids will continue the tradition.
4. After you go for that walk, get out your read aloud and read to your kids sitting in the park. Okay, this may not be practical in those Arctic wasteland places like Chicago where it snows, but you can still go somewhere different.
5. Start a fire, get some hot chocolate or tea, gather a few blankets, and tell stories together. My kids love to hear stories of when they were kids, or when we were kids. Start family traditions. Remember who you are as a family.
6. My sure fire way to beat the blues: take a HOT bath! With a good book. The good book is key. I had migraine all last week and my spirits were low, but that bath……. Oh that was a great way to beat the blues.
7. Clean something. This one doesn’t work for me, but my best friend swears by it. She says it’s the Irish-Catholic blood in her, and she goes home and cleans stuff and feels very accomplished. I vaguely understand this theory.
8. Create something. If I’ve been too far from my sewing machine for an extended period of time, I start to get this itchy feeling and have to go make a quick project. It helps keep me grounded. I’ve figured out I have a creative God, look at the world He made. So why shouldn’t I try to create too?
9. Paint something. This always improves everyone’s mood in our house, possibly because painting session are usually followed by a bath. Preferably with bubbles.
10. But you know what the most important one of all of these is? What I’m about to tell you. Make sure you’re reading your Bible. I can almost always guarantee if I haven’t been reading my Bible and studying it, I’m going to get all messed up. I’ll start doubting myself, and I’ll start believing the lies being whispered to me. And then it becomes this horrible self-destructive cycle of doubt. So, get into your Bible ladies and gentlemen. It’s the best way to beat those wintertime blues.