I tried hard to stay positive this winter. I really did. I focused on how pretty the snow looks blanketing our yard and enjoying the rare sunshiny day. I pushed aside thoughts about gray skies and the days it was just too plain cold to get out of the house with my toddler.
But a few days ago, it all just hit me. The gray skies, the bare trees, the freezing weather, the need to bundle up in a million layers just to run to the store for groceries. I felt so tired of winter, so blah. So blue.
Then I read a post by Anne of Modern Mrs. Darcy about focusing on the things that are saving us, rather than the things that are killing us. And she suggested writing our own list and linking it up to her post, so that’s what I’m doing today.
Where I live, there are still a few months of winter left and I certainly don’t want to wait until spring to feel cheery again! So I’m hoping this exercise will help me change my focus back to a more positive outlook and give me little things I can think about each day with a smile. (Edited to add: It did help! In fact, once I got started, I could have kept going with the list, but I decided to stick to just the first 7 things that came to mind for simplicity’s sake.)
Here’s my list:
7 Things That Are Saving Me This Winter
1. Getting outside if it’s at all possible.
As I mentioned, we’ve had some weather that was dangerously cold. Those days were hard, but I started to realize that even if we could only safely stay outside for ten minutes, that ten minutes did us (my almost-two-year-old son and I) a world of good. Now that the weather’s been a bit warmer, I’ve been making a point of bundling us up and getting us outside for a bit every day and it really does save my sanity. It’s so much fun to see my son’s delight at exploring outside, even in the winter when there’s mostly just snow or dead grass and plants to see. Which brings me to my second point:
2. Seeing things through a toddler’s eyes.
Sometimes it really helps me to pause for a minute and try to see things the way my son does. His eyes light up over the smallest things because they’re new and special to him. We can get pretty jaded as adults and stop seeing the wonder around us. It’s good to remember what it’s like to be a child and smile about the little things.
3. Vision therapy and trigger point therapy.
I will write in more depth about my vision therapy journey in a future post. To put it simply, I’ve dealt with double vision and a lack of depth perception for most of my life because my eyes don’t work together. A few years ago, I went through vision therapy and made an amazing, life-changing amount of progress. After my son was born, I regressed and I’ve been struggling to get back to where I was. This winter I’ve been seeing some progress again, thanks to a combination of vision therapy and trigger point therapy. The timess when my vision improves are simply amazing and brighten up the darkest winter days.
I’ve been dabbling at blogging for a few years now, but in November I finally purchased a domain name and got serious about it. Learning the ins and outs of blogging as a business (even though my blog is still technically in the hobby phase) is overwhelming at times, but it’s also so. much. fun. I especially enjoy making pin images (and I’m currently working on my first free printable) and writing and editing blog posts.
I do try to limit how much junk food I eat, but I don’t consider chocolate junk food. It’s sort of an alternative vegetable. 😉 My favorite lately has been these Ghiradelli Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Soiree bars. Yum, yum, double yum.
6. Music & dancing.
It’s amazing how much more cheerful our home feels when we have music playing. If I had it my way, I’d go with instrumental music like Lindsey Stirling or Ludovico Einaudi. But to make Little Buddy happy, we most often listen to the Bee-Gees Number Ones. It’s his favorite album, I think mostly because I cannot resist picking him up and dancing around the house with him when it’s on. Which makes us both happy.
7. A new favorite author.
I stumbled across Katherine Reay’s books a couple of months ago and I’ve been slowly working my way through them ever since. Not because they’re slow reads — on the contrary, if I had the time, I probably could (and would) read one in a day because they’re so good and so easy to read. I love how her characters aren’t perfect and how hard they work to overcome their flaws. I love all the nods to classic fiction. And I love the happy endings. One problem — I just finished reading the last book of hers on my list and now I need to new new favorite author. Any suggestions???
I hope my list of 7 seven things that are saving me this winter gave you some ideas for things that might perk you up if you’ve been feeling down lately! If you’ve got a little one, you might also enjoy my post about 7 Tips to Survive Winter with a Toddler.
And I’d love to hear from you: What are you doing to cope this winter? Do you have a favorite author you can recommend? Or a favorite chocolate variety? 😉