If you’re like me, February is about the time of year that I start to get stir crazy in the house and dream of warm, crisp Michigan spring weather when I can start hiking, biking and hanging out on the deck. Although Michigan residents have been VERY fortunate that Mother Nature has looked kindly on us this winter. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I’ve been able to go on walks in January without worrying about the snow/ice. So nice! But it’s still dark outside and often dreary without sunshine.
So if you’re feeling a little restless as we wait for spring, here are some ideas to beat the winter blues.
Stock up on good reading material. Whether you like books, magazines, brochures or newsletters, it’s a perfect time make some tea (coffee, beer, wine?) and relax on the couch with some reading material. Winter is my favorite time of year to read books (okay, in truth, ANY time of year is a favorite to read but I do love curling up with a good book and cup of tea in the winter!) because it’s often cold, wet and blah outside – what better time to escape to another world in a good fiction book?
Put together a puzzle. I used to put together puzzle after puzzle when I was younger and especially during chemo when I had way too much time on my hands feeling icky and blah. I like the challenge of matching pieces to create a cool image. It’s been so long since I put together a puzzle (other than small ones with my nieces and nephew!) that I decided to do just that this winter (see image). I forgot how relaxing it can be to work on one!
Exercise. You all know I’m a fan of exercise and staying healthy. I find exercising so helpful for me to kick any stress, anxiety or blue moods. Zumba is my favorite cardio but I’ve also recently been regularly practicing yoga, which helps me focus on calmness as well my balance and strength. If the weather is a little too yuck to get outside, I love to dance to my Wii Dance Party and Zumba Fitness video games. You really can sweat and burn calories to these games!
Make crafts. I love being creative so have been trying my hand at some craft projects (stay tuned for some upcoming blog posts on these!), including making soy candles, dryer balls and more. If being too crafty intimidates you, consider something less intense but just as creative and relaxing. Did you like to color as a child? Me too! And I love to color still as an adult! ‘Adult’ coloring books are popular right now (um, no, adult coloring books aren’t R-rated books but more detailed in the designs). However, I still enjoy good ‘ol fashion children’s coloring books, especially when sitting down with my nieces and nephew. I mean, who doesn’t love a My Little Pony coloring book?
Hang out with friends and family. Being alone all the time while stuck indoors can be boring and depressing for anyone (I’m a fan of quiet, alone time once in a while but we all need people around us at times). Call up the friends and family who make you happy and can share laughs and good times together.
Get outside! If you’ve read even a few previous entries on this blog, you know I’m a lover of the outdoors and nature. Fresh air, the sounds of nature, sunshine (don’t forget sunscreen!), and being active are fabulous things to beat the moody blues.
Check out local indoor adventures. Winter is a perfect time to explore local indoor attractions! Visit your local museum, nature center, aquarium and library. Many of these places also have special exhibits, classes and programs for all ages.