So far it’s been a snowy 2014 here in the MD/VA/DC metropolitan area. Just when we think the sun is shining us right into more regular springtime weather, schools are closed or opening late from the next white blanket of winter. There’s been a lot of snow upset or as I like to call it “snupset.”
With cabin fever, kids home from school and workday flow getting shaken up it’s not surprising to hear that people are done with the weather. Sure, it puts a bit of a damper on things for all of us with rescheduling the same meeting or patient appointment three times because it keeps getting snowed out, or the bulk purchases of the snow’s coming freak-out grocery store run. On the other hand though there are some awesome gifts and opportunities that come along with all this weather.
Winter really is not about pushing through, it’s actually the total opposite. Mother Nature has built in hibernation time for us, we may not like it…mostly because we aren’t used to it. As a culture, we seem to get busier as it gets colder and darker. Think of bears, do you see them running around in winter time? Nope. Give in, turn off the adrenaline. It takes some practice to slow down, trust me I’ve been practicing for years.
If you are feeling like you have the snowy blues, here are 10 ways to turn that frown upside down:
#1 Have you noticed how gorgeous it is? Take a moment to really look outside, the way the snow glistens in the sun and lays on the trees. It’s incredibly beautiful. Take pause and use your eyes to just take it in. It always brightens my day to soak in the beauty, it’s the best art around.
#2 Enjoy your company. I’m sitting next to the hubs as I write this to you and it’s pretty rare to sit next to someone I love and do my own quiet activity while they do theirs. Usually we are just too busy. Today we are both stuck in the house until the roads are plowed. I’m basking in the glory of a little productive couple time.
Got kids? I hear from my peeps that they grow up so fast. They may be bouncing of the walls or dragging the snow inside on their little boots and that sounds like paradise to me actually. One day they will not be playing in the snow or running up and down the stairs and you will miss it then. Enjoy it now.
Or, enjoy YOUR company – like, enjoy some quiet time being with yourself. Have you taken any time lately to just be introspective? No TV, no internet, no laundry. Just you and your questions about the universe and desires for the future. Me, Myself and I.
#3 Tackle something you’ve been pushing far down on that to-do list of yours. If you are stuck at home there is probably some clean-up item or fix-it project that you keep avoiding…but there it is constantly haunting you, staring you in the face every time you open up the list you keep in your notebook (or the back of your mind). The photos you want to sort, the picture you never hang, the email inbox that’s full or the toilet that keeps running. Just get it done! You will feel better, it will never haunt you again and with all this at-home time there is really no excuse to say “I just don’t have time.” Let’s be honest, you do…you’ve got a snow day.
If you are at work on a quiet day cause the office never closes for snow – same deal, those files you never put away…now’s your golden opportunity!
#4 I’ve been meaning to read that book… Yes you have. What better way to enjoy this stuck at home winter time than with a cup of something delicious and that book you bought and never cracked. Ease in, let yourself have this delight.
#5 Go outside! I’m not letting the weather get in the way of my needing fresh air. Bundle up, take a deep breath and relax your muscles into the brisk air. It smells good, it feels good and the sun shining on your face even with the snowfall around you will feel incredible! Stand outside for a few minutes or take a walk around your block. It’s gorgeous at night too, is there anything prettier and more soothing than a snow blanketed quiet night? Move with it, not against it.
#6 Take a nap. For realz! Haven’t you been exhausted with everything you do in life? Take some time to lay down in a cozy place and curl up. Your body will appreciate the opportunity to recharge.
#7 Arts and Crafts! Don’t have a crafty hobby in your back pocket? Consider making a vision board…spring is right around the corner and we all have some intentions we are working to bring to the forefront of our lives. Gather up the newspapers, magazines and a cut of cardboard. You’ll need a scissor and some glue. Cut out the images and words that inspire you, or print some off of your computer. What do you want your life to look like? Career, love, friends, travel, food…etc.? Paste them to the cardboard and admire the life you are living right into.
#8 Eat delicious food. What’s that dish that grandma used to make? Or that soup that reminds you of warming up after building a snowman? Cook it or order it and love it. Sit down with your favorite show, reading material, music or whatever and savor the goodness.
#9 Plan a vacation. You deserve one! You work hard and you’ve always wanted to see Greece, Bali, the Bahamas…fill in your favorite want-to-go destination. Choose it now, decide if you want company and enroll them into the plan, set aside the money or make a plan for how to save it up before you board the airplane. Having a real vacation to look forward to will make it easy to take a deep breath, let go of the stress and enjoy the last snows before it’s go time again.
#10 Relax the pace. Not everyone is enjoying the snow from home. If you are having a regular day with the pleasure of snow to make your commute or normal activities more interesting then taking a new pace might be the trick. The best way to deal? Stop, breathe, and smile. Yes, creating a smile even if it didn’t come naturally makes a difference – it’s a “fake it til you make it” approach and it works! And then move forward at 1/2 pace. Everything is stable: the email, the grocery list, the dry-cleaning and the meetings…they aren’t going anywhere. Everything will get done, there is plenty of time – the sand doesn’t actually run out, we just turn it over again – and if you are in a more relaxed state as you take it on, it will take less time to get everything done, it will feel like less of a big deal and you will feel great knowing you accomplished what you set out to.