Last week, Winter Storm Jonas had me feeling like I wanted to just give up and move to the Caribbean. (But then again, who doesn't want to give up and move to the Caribbean? Even a mild snow or slight drizzle could evoke that desire.) I kept thinking: I just want to be warm again! Our city kept referring to the storm as an "unique snow event." As if the snow had ascended from the ground rather than falling from the sky. We had to deal with salt-encrusted floors, hip-deep snow drifts, no parking, and housebound days.
What a nightmare right?
Anyone who knows me knows that winter is a difficult month for me. Often, I find myself becoming depressed and anxious. This year, I'm determined to find ways to combat the winter doldrums. Instead, I want to enjoy--not just survive-- winter.
If you feel the same way, here are a few suggestions of making the most of the colder months.
1. Play in the snow
Go big or go home: build a snow fort or a snowman. If it's out there, you may as well bundle up and enjoy it! Have you ever made snowcream? Give it a try this winter!
2. Invest in proper winter clothing
My first year in Maryland, my winter wardrobe was tailored for Georgia winters: light jackets and cowboy boots. I was not prepared for real snow or real wind. Every day, I was miserable as I walked to work because I wasn't dressed appropriately for the weather. Invest in a puffy jacket and some lined, laced boots. Get you some tread, because you're going to need it. And you'll be glad you've got it.
3. Plan your summer vacation or a weekend getaway
Start planning your dream vacation somewhere warm. Come up with a travel budget and start saving. Create a Pinterest board for your tip and dream of the summer sun. Or, if you're able, plan a quick weekend getaway. Even if it's not super warm, it still boosts the mood to get away.
4. Bake a yummy dessert
I love baking during winter. It's probably not good for my waistline, but see no. 10 for that solution. Plus, baking means you get to stand beside a warm oven.
5. Try out a new or challenging recipe.
Try something new in the kitchen! Mark and I made ground turkey tacos for the first time ever this week, and we LOVED them. Yes, more than likely, I'll be blogging about it.
6. Help out your neighbors-- shovel their walkway
Doing for others can really brighten your day, especially if others can't do for themselves. Do you have an elderly neighbor who can't clean their walkway? Do it for them! Plus, shoveling snow is a great way to get some exercise on a snowday.
7. Host a game or movie night with some friends
Going out may not be much fun, with slick roads and bad weather, but that doesn't mean you have to sit at home all bored and alone. Have your friends or neighbors over for a game or movie night.
8. Connect with friends and family. letters, FaceTime, email, a phone call
My biggest problem with winter is loneliness. When you're housebound, it's easy to get lonely! Don't mope. Instead, give a family member or close friend a call. Or better yet, set up a FaceTime. It always cheers me up to actually see my loved ones, especially my two little nephews.
9. Remember to get outside-- Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps regulate our mood. So, bundle up and get outside. Play in the snow or go for a walk with your dog. Just because it's cold, doesn't mean you have to stay inside.
10. Keep exercising
Especially if you're into winter baking. However, exercising is a great stress reliever and mood booster. Hitting the gym with my husband in the evenings is one of my favorite parts of the day. Plus, at the gym, I can finally wear something other than poofy jackets and sweaters!
11. Have a romantic dinner at home
One of my favorite holidays is in winter: Valentine's Day. Why not light a few candles, whip up a tasty pasta, and pour some wine? Turn on some dinner music and have a romantic night at home with your loved one. Not only will it be fun, it's a nice way to pamper your loved one.
12. Visit your library and stock up on winter reads.
Winter weekends are the perfect setting for snuggly blankets, a mug of something hot, and a good read. Visit your local library and stock up on some good books.
13. Indulge in coffee and tea-- or cocoa!
Buy some artisan cocoa or coffee to go with your library books. I recently purchased some hot cocoa from a local boutique downtown Zoe's Chocolates. I can't wait to give it a try!
14. Revisit or take up a hobby
I love knitting in winter. Plus, buying pretty yarn is fun. What is your favorite winter hobby?
15. Go tanning!
Hey why not? Start working on your summer tan now. It's also a pretty nice way to get a dose of Vitamin D and finally get warm!