Written by Danielle Mann
If you are anything like me, the winter months can feel long and VERY unproductive. It is easy to slip into the cold weather coma and find ourselves parked comfortably on the couch with our phones, tv, or video games. I decided that I was going to do my best to kick winter’s butt and look for some easy and fun ways to perk up during these long and cold days. Take a peek at what I have found…
1. Think outside the box when it comes to fitness and exercise. Try something new this year that will get you on your feet, but not necessarily out in the cold. Take the kids to a trampoline park, go swimming at the Y or a hotel pool, crank the music and have a living room dance party!
2. Find a new indoor hobby. Typically, my indoor hobbies include eating snacks and clicking the “Buy Now” button on my phone. However, those things aren’t very good at making me feel accomplished. Painting, crafting, sewing, cooking, baking, writing, and reading are all activities that you can do as a family. Even if your talents are a bit lackluster (like mine), I guarantee that you will enjoy yourself and so will the kiddos!
3. Embrace the outdoors. I know that I mentioned that the winter months are great for indoor hobbies, but they are also good for embracing the snowcovered ground and experiencing life as a Mainer. In the last few years, my daughter and I have tried ice fishing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, and have really taken a liking. Other awesome activities are skiing or snowboarding, and snow fort building. Plus, being outside in the sun (even when it’s freezing) allows your body to soak up some much-needed vitamin D!
4. Do something that makes you feel good inside. Volunteering can seem like a daunting task when you have kids, but I promise you, you can do it! There are plenty of things you can do to make yourself feel those warm and fuzzies this winter. My daughter and I love to go to the animal shelters and visit. With the expectation that we will NOT be coming home with any more four-legged friends, we go to give kitties some snuggles, bring donations like toys and blankets to the dogs, and write thank you notes to the staff for doing a job that not everyone is suited for. You can also arrange to read with senior citizens at nursing homes, help your neighbors with winter chores, or set up a fundraiser for your favorite non-profit organization. Not only do these things make YOU feel good inside, but they make others feel pretty good too. Not to mention the example we are setting for our children by showing them that kindness is very rewarding.
5. Laugh and smile more. Everyone has their favorite ways to get a good laugh. You could see your favorite comedian, schedule some playdates with friends (this includes adult dates too!), plan a weekend getaway, or simply come watch me try to assemble all those pesky “assembly required” things my kid got for Christmas. One of the cheapest and best things my daughter and I do for a good laugh is invite a few friends over and do some good oldfashioned Mad Libs. There are so many themed books these days that you will find at least one or two that will make everyone laugh.
We all know that it can be tricky to keep ourselves motivated in the winter, but hopefully, a few of these ideas will pique your interest and get you through the long days until the sun melts away the snow.