Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Weathering the Winter Grays

This time of year the doldrums try mighty hard to breeze through the door with the chilly weather. I’m not one to just step back and take the icy gusts in the face. Nope, I’ve learned how to be proactive and resourceful so winter doesn’t have its way with me.

Eight methods of weathering the winter grays:

Every single day, carve out time to savor something. Appreciate the funny way your son’s hair sticks up in the morning. Get closer to that spider web frost on your windshield. See just how enormous and orange the moon can get.

Think back to how far you’ve come and all the ways you’ve grown. Celebrate how you’ve changed for the better.

When stress hits like a bird on a glass window (poor bird), take a moment to slow your breathing. Focus as you might during childbirth. You’re birthing a calmer you.

Go outside. Yes, even in the cold. Being cooped up can shrink the senses and cramp creative mind flow. Toss a ball to your dog. Go for a walk. Sled your heart out.

Do something differently. Make something. Take on a small project. Paint a room. Glue a mosaic. Allow your vision to be electrified and inspired. Don’t settle for the sameness of things.

Commit to going to bed one hour earlier one night a week. Rest is good. See if it helps.

Make quiet those negative voices in your head. Replace them with positive affirmations. Church Lady it on yourself (retro SNL, anyone?). Laugh while you’re at it. And vlog the entire experience. I could use a good laugh, too.

A summer vacation. A party. A night out with your spouse. Plan something—anything. Get excited about an event. Create a moment to look forward to. And in the meantime, make your now proud.

What do you do to ward off and chase the grays away?

*photo by flickr


  1. I totally agree with all of these, especially getting outside and planning fun events for the spring/summer. January/February have always been hard months, with the excitement of Christmas over and the weather being kind of blah overall. We've been lucky here in Phoenix to have better weather than usual this month, though. I was able to get out and hike yesterday without freezing, always a plus!

  2. Pretty much everything you just recommended!

    Especially create.

    And this year? Exit! It's been SO nice out! yesterday is was 50 degrees in January! Today should be the same. Tomorrow it gets cold. We're taking full advantage!

  3. I've never tried to actively do anything about the winter doldrums, but I just copied these down on my desk calendar as a reminder of what I can do. :)

  4. Great strategies. I especially relate to "Exit." Sledding with the kids is so much fun! :D

    During the winter, I can handle the snow and cold, I just can't handle the grey skies for too long. So on the bright days, I make sure to set up camp wherever the sun hits inside my house (love the southern angle of the sun in winter), and literally soak it all in while reading, journaling, or napping—the winter version of sunbathing. Gotta have some vitamin D to tide me over 'til the next time.

  5. My stock cure-all for the grays and for just about anything else ... Walk, walk, walk. I've always found walking to be so much more than just exercise, and love it, anytime, anywhere.

  6. Run outside or do anything to get into nature--no matter how cold!

  7. Church lady it on yourself. Hilarious! And yet, true.

    8 wonderful things today, Wendy!

  8. I need to add sleep to my regime. Lately, I'm crawling into the bed around 11. Not good for a mommy of three small girls and a full time job. Oh, and aspirations to be an award winning novelist:)

    Love all of these tips!

  9. I'm actually wishing for some stormy days. We've had only one rainy day so far this season in my part of California. While I love sunny days in the 60s, we need rain in the here in the Foothills and snow in the Sierras or we're in for a tough summer with water shortages and high fire dangers. So those of you who are tired of gray days, feel free to send them our way. =)

  10. The getting outside one is so important! Since we got this new puppy, I go outside many times a day. It is so refreshing, even when it's cold.

  11. I agree with Susan, getting outside is so important. It's like the sun re-energizes you. I hate days when I'm stuck inside or in a car all day.

  12. I love to plan things to look forward to - even if they never actually happen - like dream vacations. Something beautiful and freeing about daydreaming up possibilities.

  13. This is a fabulous post! I like the creating thing and the making plans. Both of those help me. We've had a bunch of sunny days the past two weeks, which has really helped too.

  14. This is the first gray day in January here...How'd you know? ;) Love these suggestions! Especially the fresh air one.

  15. Here in Florida, we don't have much of that. But we do have sea fog, does that count?

  16. These are all great. I also have an annual pass to a flower/plant conservatory. I can go anytime and sit in the warmth with tropical plants surrounding me.

  17. Wendy:
    Here in Indiana, the gray days started today. Hubby is already down about it, plus he seems to be sick. I am trying to get a good eight hours sleep a night. When I went to the store I stocked up on herbal/decaf teas. I used to have afternoon tea to stave away the depression. I think I will try that again.

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  19. Ha! You're tempting me to vlog. I could use a good laugh too.

  20. Girlfriend time beats the grays for me. It's my go-to method for beating back the grays.

    Love this list (shared it on my FB page).

  21. Excellent advice, Wendy!

    I spent the morning working on various projects and then went out for an hour. It did wonders for my focus and clearing the cobwebs from my brain.


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