Getting through the winter blues....

Tuesday, February 3, 2015 we the beginning of February! This is a hard month for me.  Without being a total debbie downer, I have to admit I HATE winter.  Don't get me wrong...I love it being cold and wintry for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  It is even okay in January...but I have had my fill by February.  Which is not a good thing because where I live, we definitely have at least one more SOLID month of cold, snowy winter weather...and most likely things will still be pretty chilly through the middle of March.  UGH.  I have totally self diagnosed myself with a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  HA! Can you tell I am a bit dramatic??

See below for a picture that totally depicts my current feelings:
(That is my sweet Celine last can tell she thoroughly enjoyed sledding :)

Ok. So winter is really getting me down.  
I am sure it is getting A LOT of people down right about now!  
Here are some things I have found work for me when I start to feel "bleh" and "meh" and I start daydreaming/searching Expedia for warm weather getaways :) I am basically writing out these "tips" for myself so I can make it through the next 6 weeks without going straight to the looney bin:)

1. Wake up before my kids.  This is something I do year round- but I have found that it is MUCH harder to do when it is pitch black outside until 7:45 am.  But- it is SO crucial for me to have some quiet time in the morning before I have to get everyone up, ready and out the door for school.  I am able to pray, drink my coffee slowly and gather my thoughts. 
 I am SUCH a better mom when I wake up before my kids and it definitely starts my day off on a super positive note.  And I need all the positivity I can get when the temperature in my van says 12 degrees.
2. Get myself dressed, put on some jewelry and do my makeup.  There is nothing like dark, cold, gray, dreary days that make me want to stay in my pajamas all day.  A lot of days I don't see anyone but my kids and my husband (with the exception of my girls' teachers in the school drop off line).  I could easily go without brushing my hair (or teeth for that matter- HA!) and just stay in my comfy jammies.  I have found though...just like getting up early- if I take 15 minutes to put on clothes (they can even be cute, matching workout clothes!), 
a small bit of makeup and some earrings- 
I feel much more positive and upbeat throughout the day.
3. EXERCISE in some way, shape or form.  Some days, my husband is able to take our girls to school and I go to the gym super early to get a run in on the treadmill.  Other days, if he gets home in enough time, I will go for a power walk outside.  If it is not snowing/raining and above 30 degrees you can bet I am bundling up my kiddos and going on a walk with them!  I wear my baby in the Ergo, my two middle girls sit in the double BOB stroller and my oldest will walk with me or ride her bike.  If all else fails, I at least try to do push ups and sit-ups throughout the day- getting in 50 of each by the end of the day.  It is not much- but it HELPS me to not feel like a big ol' sloth:)
4. Avoid crap food. UGH. This one is tough for me. There is nothing like cold, snowy days that make me want to eat warm, yummy (highly caloric) comfort food.  And don't even get me started on desserts.  Sweets are my weakness.  I love to bake them AND eat them :)  But....I tell you what.  I feel SO yucky if I eat too much sugar or high fat foods.  Physically I don't feel good and I feel even worse mentally because I know I let myself fall into "bored" eating.  So while it takes some major discipline, I really try to make sure I am only eating food that's going to make me feel good 90% of the time.  The other 10 % of the time you can bet I am slathering some peanut butter on a triple chocolate brownie :)
5. Set small, daily goals for myself.  I am a highly motivated person by nature. But- man- there is nothing like being cooped up inside that can make me turn into a lazy, cranky momma.  I regularly write down what I need to do on a daily basis in my planner; but, I have found if set a couple, small tasks/goals to accomplish in the morning, afternoon and evening- it keeps me on track and helps me stay motivated throughout the day! So, even though I might be stuck inside all day- I still feel like I had a productive day!  
6. Plan some extra fun and creative activities with my kids. Getting through the winter with young kids is a whole post on its own :)  But, I know how crazy I feel when we can't get outside and play- so I know my sweet, energetic kiddos feel even nuttier than I do!  During the winter months, I make homemade play dough and pull out all of my cookie cutters, we have fashion shows complete with a photographer (me) and music, we do A LOT of crafts, we "spa time," we play store with real food boxes (cereal boxes, pasta boxes, etc that are empty) and have A LOT of dance parties.  Sometimes all it takes me for to snap out of my crappy mood is to do something different or special with my kids- and then we are all happy!
So there you have it....obviously none of these tips are earth shattering or very original...
but they sure do help me make it through the last cold, couple months of winter with a smile on my face! :)

Here's to warmer temperatures and lots of sunshine being here sooner rather than later!!

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