First of all, Spring is coming. Before we dive into this conversation, just know that we are at the closing of winter days in these next 4 weeks. This next week is the official start to Spring, but as we well know in the north it is simply a date on the calendar. Spring in the northern parts of the world sees those daffodils and blooms usually at least a month later than the calendar tells us we should, so how do we make it through this end of winter without feeling completely worn down by the snow and cold?
Yes, even I the lover of seasons struggles this time of year. This quite literally is the hardest point in the year of seasonal living. You mentally and physically are ready for winter to phase off and those warmups we had have given you a clear picture of what life in spring looks like even if it includes mud and a lot of brown in our life before the blooms begin. The sound of 45 degrees and sun sounds near heavenly at times, but as we still see snow in our forecast and don’t dare put our shovels and boots away we have to still find ways to make the most of these next 4 – 6 weeks of cold/wintry days we may have.
So, both for my own self and for you, I have put together a list of ways to really in the very least survive these next few weeks of however much snow, cold, and dreary days we still have.
One note, if you do feel actual depression during these days, do talk to your doctor and/or therapist. There are varying levels of seasonal depression and sometimes getting a little Vitamin D isn’t the answer. You may need further help, which is totally acceptable and understandable. Just a little disclaimer for all of you as many of us northerners have been there.
So here is our list for enjoying these end of winter weeks before we see those first blooms in the next month (or so ?):
Plan a weekend getaway:
We recently went just north an hour and stayed in a season. Since it is off season we got to see a local coastal town in a whole new way then we see it in the summer months. Kind of amazing actually. But if you need some warmth, get away for a long weekend to a warm spot. Typically you can find some deals on last-minute flights. Don’t make it an ordeal just head out. I highly suggest going in April as I feel this is the hardest month!
Plan Something Special each week:
Planning a dinner with friends or an activity or even finding events to attend is really important. This gives you something to look forward to during these months. We try to make a point to do dinner with at least one friend each week especially this time of year. Nothing fancy and sometimes it is going out. We also make a plan to go out to an asian restaurant for dinner once a week as a family. This gives us all something to look forward to and connect in a different way especially when we are busy with work and life.
Go to the gym:
Now is an awesome time to get back to the gym. Bathing suit season is fast approaching and the gyms have cleared out of the resolution goers. Setting time aside to go is great for establishing a routine for yourself and body, but the endorphins produced by a good sweat session is really amazing when you are feeling down.
Switch up your winter attire:
There are a lot of sales right now for winter things so if there was an item you were eyeing now may be the right time to get it. You will get a few weeks of wearing it and then pack it away once it warms up. In the meantime, it will give you a fresh perspective on your wardrobe and make you feel a little more excited to get dressed for these final weeks of the cold. I also think it is fun to switch up my coats as well. I stop wearing my parka bc I get tired of being that bundled up and instead switch up the hat I wear and coat to make it feel different for a little while.
Find the Sunny spot:
Now that we have more sun later in the day I love to enjoy it by finding the warmest and sunniest spot in the house and just laying and reading in it. If I close my eyes it can sometimes feel like I am at the beach almost haha. The sun is warming and you will notice the snow is heavier and denser which means the air is warming around us and so is the ground even if it doesn’t always feel like it. Laying in the sun even for 30 minutes in your home can feel amazing and bring you a lot of joy.
Buy some plants:
Many local greenhouses are beginning to stock some plants in their stores and will be opening up now that spring is arriving. So go pick up some little plants to keep inside. You could even create some herb boxes that can be inside for now and moved outside once the last freeze happens in your zone. Having greenery in your home will bring a sense of spring to your home even if outside it is still lingering in winter.
Take note of the changes each day:
Even when there is a Nor’easter dumping 12 inches there are signs that winter is coming to an end. The Nor’easter itself is a sign in fact since storms like that only come as weather patterns are shifting. Even on cold days you can find the signs of things to come. From where the sun has melted snow and revealed patches of small plants to the maple syrup filling tap lines and buckets. Even the way the sun has felt in the last few weeks feel different than it did a month ago. All these things are small signs and are things to take note of. Each day things shift slightly and by noticing the positive steps we can more easily deal with what feel like set backs.
Now this sounds a little nuts, but I find it helpful to clean our house and minimize things while the days are still slow. This way when spring finally shows up and all we want to do is be outside, we can. We won’t feel the need to do “spring cleaning” because we did it before the spring weather ever showed up. Being prepared for a season is one way to help welcome it in and feel we are striving forward.
So tell me, what are ways you help make the most of these final weeks of the year. Do you enjoy certain things? Do you have routines that help make the most of it? What are doing to keep yourself busy and excited through these final weeks?
Excited to hear your tips and to hear about you enjoy these final weeks.