Hello, fellow winter haters. What, you don’t hate winter? I wish I were more like you! I’m getting a tiny bit better at seeing the beauty in it. The stark lines of tall trees against a pale blue sky, the dramatic sunsets, the frosty white grass…I’m not immune to these gifts of the season. But I still could do without winter for many, many years.
Three years ago, my winter hatred was running at an all time high. We had just downsized into our current house, I had a baby and a two-year-old, and I felt like I just couldn’t handle the cold weather season. For better or worse, the weather always affects my outlook on life. At the time, the book on my nightstand was Happier at Home by Gretchen Rubin. Inspired by her attitude and her title, I invented a Happier in Winter Project. I wrote out a list of things I could do to make winter bearable, and maybe, maybe even enjoyable, and I pinned it to my wall calendar in the kitchen. That winter of 2012-2013 turned out to be blessedly mild, but this winter doesn’t seem to be following suit. So I’m pulling out my Happier in Winter list and sharing it today. Add your ideas and help us all endure!
~Happier in Winter ~
- Plant lots of pansies, or indoor houseplants. I always, always kill houseplants. But pansies are pretty hardy outdoor flowers where I live.
- Remember: exercise is the best way to stay warm. And exercise always comes with nice perks, like a little less winter weight gain. One can dream, right?
- Hold lots of household dance parties. Also counts for #2.
- Take your vitamins!
- Play some instruments . I will hand out the recorder and harmonica and have a marching band around the house with the kids, or have them play their instruments while I play the piano. I’m not going to lie–I don’t do this often. There’s a good chance the “fun” ends in a headache for mom. =)
- Make paper snowflakes. Two years ago we glued them on one of our windows. Looking back, it was like we warded off snow with them. Not a flake fell on our house that season! I’m planning on making these with Ella soon.
- Pick a room to paint a nice, light color. This year, I’ll probably do our bathroom. It’s currently a garish yellow, and it’s the last room that needs painting in the house.
- If you’re a parent with small children, designate a child-free time to make busy bags for your children.
Have indoor picnics and tea parties. Get out some cheerful dishes and turn graham crackers into fine, teatime delicacies with some leftover frosting or cinnamon and sugar.
- Plan library days and museum days.
- Pin a whole bunch of soup recipes and then actually make one or two of them.
- Rearrange a room. Sometimes a different perspective is all it takes to lift a mood.
- Drink more smoothies.
- Drink more water.
- Drink more wine. Just kidding.
- Bake some healthy (and not so healthy) snacks and don’t worry about the mess.
- Splurge on a lunchtime restaurant with an indoor playground once in a while.
- Load shelves and e-readers with cheerful books. The definition of “cheerful” books varies from reader to reader. Winter is the best time for whatever type of book you consider a comfort read for you.
Put hats, scarves, and gloves in an easily accessible place so it’s easy to bundle up and enjoy what sunshine there is.
- Read wintry poetry and find some favorite winter quotes. Here’s one that puts things into perspective for me: “The wind was blowing, but not too hard, and everyone was so happy and gay for it was only twenty degrees below zero and the sun shone.” -Laura Ingalls Wilder. Only!?! Robert Frost is also a good winter poet (for real, no pun on the name intended).
- Be crafty. Sew something, paint something, knit something…whatever kind of creativity floats your boat.
- And finally….sometimes you just have to make it a movie day.
We’re looking at a cold week here in the southeast, so I’ll be hitting the “Happier in Winter” list pretty heavily in the next few days. Share your ideas to help us all out!