I have always found the winter a difficult time of the year, even growing up. November through to February always seemed to have the most challenges (even getting out of bed on a dark cold morning) even though there is my birthday, Christmas and then New Year to look forward to. I find January and February especially challenging, I think having Christmas and New Year to look forward to do help a lot in getting me through November and December. It is a mix of short days, long dark nights and the cold weather, and also the seemingly endless stream of illnesses that take their toll on everyone. This year has been especially bad and Boo has been ill pretty much since starting nursery in October, we then had a hospital stay with her in December and have had several things since the new year including tonsillitis.
I have over the years come up with lots of things that help make this time of year a bit easier for me to deal with. My tips for getting through the winter…
1. Enjoy Christmas and New Year… I get excited about getting gifts for other people, thinking about what to buy them, what I could make them (Boo made lots of lovely presents for family this year) and what they would like. I did struggle this year for ideas and it really made Christmas a lot more of a stress.
2. Don’t get in to debt, or spend more than I can afford for Christmas… the six weeks from my normal December pay (moved to before Christmas) is a long and miserable six weeks until the January payday if every last penny has been spent on Christmas.
3. Plan little things that I have to look forward to for January/February and beyond… booking the summer holiday is a great example. I have made a list of all the little things we had planned from January 1st and keep adding to it. Going over this list in my mind helps me when I am feeling a bit low after a long or difficult day. We had the boys over to stay and planned a busy week, we are going to the Manchester Toddler and Baby Show in March, we have several family days out planned, some are just to lovely towns (like Knutford) shopping and others are to places like Cannock Chase and The Gruffalo Trail. We also have a family holiday booked for April too.
4. Don’t be too over ambitious with New Years Resolutions, I had all dancing all singing plans to change my entire self year after year, and when things become really difficult (who is going to last all of January without chocolate?) I feel like I am failure, small steps and changes are definitely the way to go.
5. Making a Bucket List for the year, this is a new one for me this year, and it’s been a good one, and extension of point 3 really, but more ideas of what I would like to pack in to the next 365 days. My 2015 bucket list is here and I am really looking forward to seeing how we go, and intend to do updates throughout 2015.
6. Make me-time, I am really really bad at this one, and I do feel worse when I don’t take that time for a hot cup of tea, a bubble bath, or a quiet half hour with a book. But in a busy house it is easy to put yourself at the bottom of the list and then these important things never get done.
7. If something doesn’t get done don’t fret. I had, what felt like an endless list of things I hadn’t done last week, but at the end of the day, the things on that list weren’t as important (or as fun) as making memories. So what if my washing basket looked like it was about to explode or the dishes remained unwashed for the night… these things can be done, and will get done but they don’t always have to be done right now.
8. Think about what makes me happy, and go for it. I am one of those people who really needs to sit and think about what it is that I want to do, not what I think I should be doing, but what I actually want to do, I find it difficult so taking that time is really important, otherwise I start to feel low and tired. Over the course of this winter I have decide to give up work and become a SAHM to Boo, it has been on of the most difficult decisions of my life, but I am already feeling like it is going to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.
9. Get out of the house even if it is just a short walk to nowhere in particular, the fresh air always makes me feel better, and Boo too. Now that Boo is more confident about walking outside we go on lots of little walks. Boo is always so proud when we go out without the pram/trike and looking at her little proud face always cheers me up. Boo is my light at the end of the dark winter tunnel!
So here are my little ways to get through the winter, I am sure there will be more things I have forgotten or that I can add each year, but for now I am happy to be looking forward to the spring!