It has been extremely cold across most of the United States and the winter time blues are at an all time high.
Many of us are stuck in our homes because it is either too cold or too dangerous to get out and do something. The kids and grandkids are stir crazy and every parent and grandparent is wishing the simple routine of daily life (and going back to school) would return.
The winter time blues have begun much earlier than normal this year. There has now been a solid month that we have been faced with crazy low temperatures and consistent snow and ice blanketing the roads.
Pipes have frozen, colds have been spread, and the harsh winter wind is wreaking havoc on our skin.
So instead of letting Mother Nature get you down, here are a 5 Great and Productive Ways To Get Rid Of The Winter Time Blues
1. Start Planning Your Garden Now
We talk about it all the time how important it is to establish a garden plan. Winter is a terrific time to look through those garden seed catalogs and plan what vegetables plants will call your garden home this year.
Look back at your pictures from last summer. See where you planted your vegetables and in which row. Map out what you would like your garden to look like this year, keeping in mind not to plant the same variety in the same row as last year.
Promise yourself that you will try a new variety or a new vegetable this year. Do some research on that specific plant and how you can make it successful in your own garden.
Gardening is all about the promise of the future which is definitely enough to push those winter time blues away.
Check out our article on Planning Your Garden This Winter
2. Start and FINISH an Indoor Project
We all have had indoor projects that get started and come Spring and Summer we don’t want to waste the time inside to finish them.
Now is the time to not only start an indoor project that you have been wanting to complete, but also to finish those that aren’t quite done yet.
It could be anything from painting a cabinet or finishing the railing going up the stairs (yes, we too have some things to finish). Whatever the project, break down the steps it will take to complete that task and dedicate a little time to working on it each and every day.
Our 15 minute a day approach works on home projects as well!
3. Organize and Eliminate Junk in Your Junk Drawer
Every home that we have owned and every home that we have visited has a junk drawer. This is the common place where items are collected and stored in hopes of one day being needed again.
Based on experience alone, we actually find and use less than 25% of what is stored in our junk drawer. Coupons expire, things that we know were in there seem to disappear, and cords that were once valuable now don’t have a purpose that we can find.
While you are sitting on the couch, grab that drawer and start sorting through the ‘junk’. Make 2 piles: one to keep and one to throw away.
Throw away the second pile and concentrate your efforts on the keep pile. Now sort these items into 3 piles: items that belong somewhere else in your house, items that need action by a certain date, and items that will need to be stored in that drawer.
Be realistic and decrease as much clutter as possible. If you have a coupon that expires in 24 hours but you know that you will not be going to the store tomorrow, throw it away. Do you really need 13 black ink pens in that drawer?
Decluttering will help keep you busy during those dark and cold evenings and the end result will be freeing!
4. Cook a New Recipe Using Mood Boosting Foods
There are several different food items that have been proven to boost your mood. On top of that list are: bananas, dark chocolate, salmon, avocados, grapes, mushroom, nuts, strawberries, asparagus, and even oysters.
No matter your talents in the kitchen, focus on providing your body with some of these foods to help get rid of those winter time blues.
For those who are comfortable in the kitchen, find or develop a new recipe using a few these ingredients. The challenge will keep your mind active and pass the time on those cold winter nights.
You don’t have to be a chef to take advantage of these mood boosting foods. Many of them can be eaten raw. And who would give up the excuse of eating a chocolate coated strawberry to help you feel better?
5. Write, Write, Write
Writing is a way to express your thoughts and feelings in a private, safe and comfortable environment. Remember the days of diaries?
You don’t have to write down your deepest and darkest secrets.
Instead, once a day write a simple sentence on what you are grateful for. It could be something as simple as “Today I am grateful for running water”. Do this every day.
Take it one step further when you are feeling frustrated or challenged. Think of something that you are grateful for in that exact situation. For example, while stuck in traffic we become frustrated about the delay it is causing in our schedule. Instead, you could think “I am grateful for this extra time in my car to call and talk to my Mom”. Or “I finally get to listen to that Audio book that I haven’t had a chance to finish”.
You could also write a letter to someone that you have been thinking about lately. Even in the age of technology, we all love to get a handwritten letter once in awhile.
And you know all of those Facebook quizzes that go around about what activities that you have done or your favorite xyz that your spouse or kids are supposed to answer about you. Spend time writing down your favorite memories, activities, and even your favorite foods. Your kids and grandkids will love to read those someday!
There are many other ways to beat the winter time blues – especially a vacation to a warm and tropical area. However, those aren’t always possible. As a result, we hope that you can help push those blues away with the above simple yet productive tips!