Here’s how to prepare for winter to make the season less dreadful.
The changing of the seasons (specifically into winter) can be pretty unpredictable in the Midwest. In fact, the only thing predictable about it is that it WILL come out of nowhere. Case in point, I had this blog post mostly written last week, (in the middle of FALL), when BAM! We got slammed with 5″ of snow overnight. But perhaps it’s not winter where you live (YET), and there’s still be time to prep! So here’s a few ways we prepare for winter in our house to beat winter blues before they start!
1. The Responsible Prep
Start early! Bring in garden décor, cover patio furniture, hang your de-icing tape, etc.
Getting everything put away before the first snowfall is KEY to reducing pre-winter stress. Don’t procrastinate! Once the snow flies, the last thing you’ll want to do is drag your butt back and forth outside. And if you decide to forgo putting everything away, you’ll be kicking yourself in the spring when things are rusted, broken and waterlogged. (I’m looking at you, gas grill…! Here’s a grill cover we FINALLY bought to help protect ours during winter months).
So do yourself a favor and set aside an afternoon in mid-to-late Fall to get everything stored away properly.
2. The Mental Prep
It’s time to come to terms with this fact: Our nice days are numbered! Cherish and enjoy them while they last.
AFTER you get your things stored away properly, it’s time to enjoy EVERY spare sunny-minute Mother Nature throws at you. This might mean an impromptu afternoon (or early evening) “woods walk”, a casual drive through the countryside, or a day-date with your partner. It might even mean bundling up for star-gazing after the kids go to bed, (because you KNOW cloudless nights are few and far between once January hits).
During these pre-winter ‘outings’, we should be reflecting. There’s no need to wait until January to make goals for yourself. Start now — Before the winter blues set in! What are your hopes and dreams for yourself? Then think, how can you use your time this winter to help achieve them? After these ‘reflection sessions’, you’ll (hopefully) feel rejuvenated and ready for the change of season. Almost as if winter is coming on YOUR terms. 😉
3. The Long-Game Prep
Seasonal depression is a THING, so we must plan ahead and find ways to keep it at bay.
Every year, Dan and get about halfway though winter and start to question if we have seasonal depression. There’s just no doubt about it, a lack of sun gives us the winter blues! So last year, we approached winter differently, and it was a big improvement. Here’s a few ways you can combat the winter blues before they start:
-Plan a few small trips to break up winter (or one BIG trip).
Plan a vacation in early February if you can. For anyone who lives in a cooler climate like we do, February is usually when cabin fever sets in. It’s also when everyone starts getting sick! So if you can, get outta dodge while those germs are at their worst.
If you have kids in school, you’ll want to plan a trip over Spring Break (NOT Christmas Break). There’s enough exciting things going on around Christmas. Which brings me to my next point:
-Ride the holiday wave as long as you can.
Let yourself get excited about the holidays, starting with Halloween. It doesn’t mean you have to go buying a bunch of stuff to celebrate, but you can still immerse yourself in the festivities and all that they entail. From Halloween, to Thanksgiving, to Christmas, to New Years – You can ride that fun train all the way to January.
Then, you can spend the first half of January enjoying peace and quiet after the busy three months you’ve had.
-Give yourself something to look forward to every week.
Before winter (AKA now), start filling in your calendar with things to do each week. This will give you something to look forward to, even if it’s small. EX. Each week pick a library day, a movie night, a game night, etc.
Then sprinkle in a few bi-weekly activities. EX. A bakery trip, a date-night, a crafting party, cooking dinner IN with friends, a self-pamper session, etc.! Having a full schedule will give you options every day of the week if that’s how you roll! Before you know it, Spring will be here.
-Buy a bird feeder and keep it filled.
Bird feeders are nature’s televisions. One of my favorite activities is watching the birds in the morning. You’ll be surprised by the flock your feeder will attract during winter months when other sources of food are scarce.
–Change the season on the INSIDE of your house.
This is one of my favorite, and possibly the most effective way to combat winter blues. Pick up a couple large houseplants (or a bouquet every other week) to add life and color into your space. If you recall, I went on a houseplant rampage last year and got rid of most my collection. However, I’ve had a change of heart when it comes to house plants. I’ll share more on that next week! 😉
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