Tuesday, November 10, 2009

25 Ways to Beat the Winter Blahs

After a week or two of cold wetness outside and hacking feverishness inside, my whole family was a little stir-crazy. If it hadn't been for this recent warm spell, we might well have lost our minds. I sat down a few nights ago and made myself a list of things that I think I can do to help myself and my family beat the usual winter blahs.
  1. Make praise and worship music be your background noise, broken up by bits of classical music, or whatever else your family likes. . . BUT. . .
  2. Carve out an hour of pure quiet time every day -- some time to get away from eachother, breathe, and listen to yourselves think.
  3. Spend more time on your beauty routine, especially in the area of moisturizing -- condition, lotion, pamper. . .
  4. Invest in a good computer game, deck of cards, or puzzle book. . . or just clip the crossword puzzle out of the paper every day.
  5. Read at least one chapter of a good book each day. And by book I mean something with a cover and pages made of paper, not an e-book.
  6. Memorize a good poem, passage of Scripture, or piece of literature.
  7. Do one creative thing each week.
  8. Spend some time talking with your spouse each evening after the kids go to bed. If he's not the talking type, then sit and enjoy a snack and TV show with him.
  9. Reserve one night every week for a "date". If you can't afford dinner and a sitter, then just do something special at home.
  10. Limit screen time, both for yourself and your kids. It may seem like the only thing to do some days, but too much TV or computer will only lead to headaches and bad attitudes.
  11. Read, aloud, at least 6 picture books or 3 chapters of a children's chapter book to your kids each day. There's your TV alternative.
  12. Take your kids out for at least a 30 minute walk at the warmest part of each day. If you have a heat wave, get the kids playing outside as much of the day as possible; you take a book out and enjoy the fresh air as you read your obligatory chapter.
  13. If the weather will just not permit a walk, do some pilates, yoga, or dancing with the kids inside for 30 minutes.
  14. Sit around and tell family stories whenever the kids get bored. See if they can tell any family stories on their own.
  15. Sit down and sing with the kids. Get out the Mother Goose and go over those good ole nursery rhymes. And, of course, sing Christmas songs from the end of Thanksgiving all the way through the first week of January.
  16. Read poetry -- all winter. Jot down each child's favorites, and then help them each put together their own anthology. Let them decorate each page using a variety of art forms -- collage, paint, pencil, rubbing. . .
  17. Help each child start their own scrapbook full of their favorite memories and pictures.
  18. Have each child start a nature notebook. Spend time each day observing, identifying, and sketching critters in the backyard.
  19. Put together a winter craft supplies bin, and don't be afraid to use it. Whenever you have some spare cash, head to the dollar store for supplies and coloring books.
  20. Bake something with the kids each week.
  21. Make every moment special. Whenever you turn on the TV, snuggle up together with a bowl of popcorn. When you have a snack, get all the kids to the table to chat over the goodies.
  22. Plan next year's garden! Google seed companies and order a catalogue from whoever will send you one for free. I find that those that offer heirloom seeds are especially fascinating and lend themselves well to dreams of lovely cottage gardens. Then get out some graph paper and plot away!
  23. Deep clean a new room of the house every two weeks. Stretch your tasks out over the two weeks so you don't feel overwhelmed. Then, you won't have to spring clean when the time comes!
  24. Have dinner guests over once every week or two. Get the kids excited and involved in helping with food preparations and setting the table.
  25. Write a hand written letter or note on paper to a friend or family member every week. Stick it in a paper envelope, put a postage stamp on it, put it in a mailbox and send it on its way.

Care to add to the list?

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