Winter can be a tough time for everyone, especially for those who live in an area that experiences bone chilling temperatures, snow, ice and little daylight. As a Michigander, I will be the first to admit that the winter months can be some of the hardest to push through. The holidays brighten up the early winter months but come January, I am always ready to move onto warmer weather. Becoming a stay-at-home mom to my fun-loving toddler a few months ago has in some ways heightened those feelings. Who wants to stay cooped up inside most of the time, anyways? Not me and definitely not my adventurous toddler!
Alas, we must persevere, which is why I've created five simple ways to keep my sanity this winter:
1. Get dressed every morning. This might sound like an obvious way to keep your sanity, but when I say "get dressed" I am not referring to sweatpants and a t-shirt. I put on a pair of jeans and a nice, but comfy shirt or leggings and a cotton dress. Something that makes me feel human and put together. I have also tried to spend a few minutes doing something presentable to my hair whether than means running a curling iron through it or throwing it up into a top knot. Then a few minutes applying the makeup basics. It's just enough to remind me that I'm not a zombie. "Getting dressed" will mean something different to everyone but the basics of it is that you have decided to spend a few seconds on preparing yourself for the day, even if it only ends up being ten minutes.
2. Have a daily routine. A routine can do wonders for a day that never seems to end. One of my favorite parts about having a routine is knowing that we can move forward from a task, especially the tasks that were difficult. If breakfast was food on the floor, walls, hair, and clothing kind of disaster, I still have a general idea of what we will be doing after. Of course, this routine I speak of is pretty simple but that is also the beauty of it. Facing the day with a simple plan just seems more doable.
3. Connect with other moms (or people) in person. It is kind of ironic that in some ways we are more connected with others than ever before, yet there are still times where I feel lonely. One thing that I've learned as stay-at-home mama is that I do have some control over that feeling. I'm learning that it is so crucial to your personal well-being to stay connected with other people. If you can, in-person connection is even better because there is a quality to it that cannot be replaced by a phone or computer. It is kind of a bonus if you are able to get together with another mom because then your little one has someone to play with as your swap stories together. Ultimately a win for everyone.
4. Take up a new hobby. New hobbies aren't only for the kids — they can be for us too! I've been trying to explore a few new hobbies this winter in the evenings once our little guy is in bed. A few things that I have spent some time on include baking, journaling, and even experimenting with watercolors (my husband is an artist... free lessons!). It's been a great outlet for me to spend some time by myself on something that is just for fun and it's a great way for me to have time to reflect and think about the things I love and enjoy. My ideas might not work for you but that's okay, we all have different interests. Luckily, there are so many options out there ranging exercise classes to knitting. You're bound to find something new to try!
5. Get out of the house once a day (if the weather permits). I'm surprised at how difficult this can be some days but finding a reason to get out of the house has been a great way to add variety to my days. This might be harder for moms who have multiple children, but it's still worth a shot. Whether it's a trip to the grocery store or story time at the library, the simple change of location can give a huge lift to your mood. You can also tag-team this task with the previous one and get out of the house by yourself! Now that's a crazy thought, right?
There's no reason to lose your marbles just yet, especially since winter is going to be here for a few more months!
How are you keeping from going stir crazy?