Well at the time I’m writing this, it’s February 3rd, and we are at 8 weeks and counting of continuously having snow on the ground here in North Idaho. I’ve been very glad to actually experience a real winter since most of the winters we’ve had since living in Idaho, haven’t included much snow, and instead have had an abundance of mud. It’s amazing how much extra light the snow adds even when it is cloudy out. It definitely makes things less dreary.
One of the most difficult things about moving from sunny Oklahoma to the panhandle of Idaho 5 years ago, has been the lack of sunlight during the winter. Our first winter in Idaho staying in a rental was pretty much depressing. We didn’t see the sun for what seemed like yeeeaars. Thankfully, the place we ended up buying is situated in a valley that gets a lot more sunshine during the winter, though still not enough to shake a stick at.
I know that a seasonal low is something that many people experience, so I decided to share with you all some of my tips on how to avoid that during the winter time.
Vitamin D: Our entire body needs this vitamin in order to function properly, and a deficiency can cause mood swings among many other things. Feeling low? Maybe you should take some vitamin D! And if you do get a sunny day, even if its cold, try to get outside and expose yourself to it for a little while. It can do wonders for mood lifting!
Exercise and dancing: During warm, sunny days in the spring and fall, I love a good run outside in the sunshine; it never fails to lift my mood if I need it. During the winter though it’s usually too treacherous out to go running, but there are still some awesome home workouts to be found, that do the trick of making you sweat and getting those endorphins pumping. Dancing is also another great form of exercise that I’ve come to enjoy immensely. Three years ago, our family started going to a monthly grange hall square dance that is held through the fall, winter, and early spring months. Everyone eagerly awaits it each month, and as soon as one passes, we all start counting down for the next one.
Music: God made us in an amazing manner, and while I can’t explain the science behind it, I know that music can have an incredible impact on our mood. At our house, we listen to a wide range of music genres depending on the activity that is taking place. It amazes me what an effect different types of music have on the overall “mood” of our household. During the winter, I think it can be especially helpful to listen to something upbeat and happy.
Hobby: Busy hands make the time go by quickly and with purpose, and when that hobby is a creative one, I think it helps even more because it gives our brains an outlet when we are unable to be outside. Some of my top suggestions are: knitting, sewing, bull whip making, coloring (have you seen the amazing adult coloring books that are sold everywhere now?!?), photography, basket weaving, drawing, leatherwork, crocheting, wood working, or music.
Do you ever get low during the winter? What are some of your suggestions for avoiding “the winter blues” ?