Hey there friends!
It’s February which means we’re only SIX Fridays away from Spring! Yay! It might be a little longer than that, however, before warmer weather officially arrives. Wintertime can make one a bit stir crazy after awhile. Especially as a stay at home mom…the days and evenings can get pretty long when you’re cooped up inside. So I’m here to bring you 10 ways to beat those winter blues and bring some fun to the monotony of these cold and dreary days!
1) Get out of the house: Yes, it’s cold and you’ve got to get the kids all bundled up and buckled into their carseats. But it’s quite amazing the difference just one outing can make in your day. My little guy loves people and new places and things to look at. You could go to the library (look into what programs your local library has for kids this time of the year), the grocery store, a local museum, grandma’s house, a craft store, a local coffee shop, or a friend’s house for a playdate. We like to take lunch to my husband at work this time of the year…we get out of the house and B just loves to see daddy. And since evenings can get long trying to entertain a 9 month old with the same toys he’s been playing with all day, we often will come up with something to do after dinner. We grocery shop as a family, run errands, hang out with family, or get coffee at our local Starbucks.
2) Music: Music can be a great way to bring some joy to your days at home. Play some upbeat music and dance around with your kids. Play your favorite tunes while you eat lunch or fold laundry or do the dishes. Buy some new songs or a new album on iTunes. Music can boost your mood and add fun to your daily routine.
3) Pick a project: Give yourself some purpose this winter. Pick a project or two you want to accomplish this winter. It could be creating a photo album, redecorating a room, starting a blog, or organizing your cabinets and closets. You’ll feel so much better when you’re getting something done and not just watching Netflix or scrolling Facebook in your free time.
4) Toy rotation: Our baby is the 1st grandchild on my side of the family so he received a lot of Christmas presents. Instead of giving them all to him at once, I put about half of them away in a box. So now when he seems to be getting a bit bored with his current selection, I can pull out something new he hasn’t seen before. Didn’t do that at Christmas? Just put away a few of the toys and games your children have now and pull them back out in 2 or 3 weeks!
5) Winter getaway: When we were young, my parents always took us away to a hotel with a pool for a weekend in the wintertime. We loved it and looked forward to it every winter. We still continue the tradition and look forward to introducing our little boy to it this year! It doesn’t have to be a hotel far away…as long as it has a pool, I’m sure your kids will be more than happy. Don’t have the funds or the time to do a whole weekend away? Just find a local indoor pool and go for an afternoon!
6) Puzzles and Games: Evenings can get long. My husband and I get tired of trying to find something to watch on TV every night after the baby goes to bed. Maybe you get tired of trying to find something other than TV to entertain your own kids before the magical bedtime hour. We recently pulled out a puzzle and work on that in the evenings instead of scrolling through our phones while half-watching something on TV. Are you trying to find a way to entertain your kids in the evenings with something other than TV? Pull out those untouched board games in the closest or pick out a puzzle together. The time will pass quickly and you won’t regret the quality time spent together!
7) Work out: I can’t necessarily claim to be the most consistent in this area but I can tell you that I feel so much better when I fit a work out into my morning. Just being active for 30 minutes gives me energy for the rest of the day!
8) Read a book: There’s no better time to pick up a good book than the dreary days of winter! Fit in a half hour of reading before bed or during nap time. I made it my goal this year to read one book a month. I snuggle my baby for the first 20 minutes of his nap while reading a chapter or two on my kindle. Now I really look forward to that time every day!
9) Initiate get-togethers: Weeks go by so much faster when you have something to look forward to and one thing I love to look forward to is getting together with friends and family. It’s so easy to throw yourself a pity party…you never get invited anywhere, you have no friends, no weekend plans. But step out of your comfort zone! Call that mom from church who has some kids and see if she wants to come over for a cup of coffee while the kids play or see if the couple you met the other week wants to go out to dinner with you. Invite family and/or friends over for some games or a movie and dessert. Don’t worry if they’re a little older or younger or have kids that aren’t a different age than your own. I often find myself second-guessing and thinking “maybe they don’t want to hang out with us” or “what if they just say yes out of obligation?” but then there’s the other possibility…maybe they’re feeling the same way as you! You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!
10) Break Routine: Plan a date night with your husband. Pull out the paint and let the kids go crazy. Create a discovery box for your baby with kitchen utensils and other “toys” from around the house. Write letters or make cards for someone who needs encouragement. FaceTime a friend or family member that lives far away. Bake cookies with your kids to give to your neighbors. Pick out a project on Pinterest. Have a pizza and movie night. Build a fort. Try out a new recipe. Have a family camp-out. Let your kids pick out something at the Dollar Store. Find an indoor play area. Get manicures or paint nails with your little girl. Have a craft or game day. The options are endless!
Here’s to six more weeks of winter (thanks, groundhog) and making them the best ever!