Winter is still upon us. Short days filled with icy temperatures or puffy snow that makes driving dangerous, and the heating bills sky rocket. No gardening, no dirt, and hardly any sunshine. Just snow. For as far as the eye can see.
I know that the land needs to rest. That the down season is a time of rest for everybody. Baby goats are growing inside my Phoebe goat, manure is breaking down into rich fertilizer for my garden, and my garden sleeps so that it can be well rested for the days ahead. But still I am starting to feel restless. Like summer has been gone far to long. I need crickets, and a mojito made with garden fresh mint, shorts and T-shirts, and dirt underneath my finger nails. I need it.
I do not need mosquitoes. They are so bad here they could just carry you away. But I prefer not to think about them. Mosquitoes are like snow. I sometimes wish God had never invented either.So when the snow just will not stop falling from the sky here are a few ways to help beat the winter blues.
1. Citrus Essential Oils
I love citrus essential oils. They are so uplifting and reminiscent of spring. I want to wrap myself in their scent. Get some high quality essential oils and diffuse away. Or wear as a perfume, or just carry the bottles around with you and stuck in the smell of summer. They help with anxiety, concentration, depression, negativity, brings joy to the heart, they’re uplifting, and they’re refreshing.
2. Get Outside
I know I know, that is the last thing you really want to do. But if the weather is not so cold that it makes your nose hairs freeze, get outside and enjoy it. It doesn’t have to be long. Just a quick walk, or get out for a family day with a good old fashioned toboggan. Take some deep breaths while you are out there. Deep breathing helps your lymphatic system work better thus eliminating more toxins from your body, which will make you feel lighter, happier, and will help clear your mind.
3. Get a Head Start on Spring Cleaning
Nothing helps me more when I’m feeling blah than a clean and organized space. Granted I would love to open up the windows and sweep the cobwebs and dirt out the door, but alas that isn’t going to happen quite yet. But since I’ve got all this extra time inside why not get a head start? Decluttering will help clear your mind, make you feel calmer, and help you feel more in control. Go through your stuff and purge anything you haven’t used in a year, anything broken or that doesn’t fit anymore (that pair of jeans you’ve been holding onto hoping one day they’ll fit again, seriously April get rid of them.), or just general clutter.
4. Do Some Home Renovations
Got a project that you’ve been putting off? Now is the best time to do it. Winter does offer a lot of extra time indoors which can be time well spent on home improvements. It can be as small as a freshly painted room, or as large as redoing the basement. Whatever it may be, the sense of accomplishment when it is done with help uplift your mood, as well as the feeling of having something new and fresh in your home.
5. Indoor Plants
I am probably biased on this one, as I love plants. House plants, garden plants, you name it. I have to be surrounded by dirt. From dirt God created life, and we are all still very much connected to it. House plants provide fresh oxygen in the home, and help with the mental images of seeing green again.
6. Get More Color in Your Life
Bright colors make the brain feel happy. Our pupils open wider to take it all in, and it brings back memories of happy times, or being young and childlike. So pick up a bouquet of flowers the next time you’re out, or put multicolored post its all over the house (with words of inspiration or a bible verse). Or get more dramatic and repaint an old drab room sunshine yellow. Brightly colored pictures on the wall, rainbow colored kitchen tools, or just Google imaging “spring” is enough to help pick up your mood.
7. Make Sure You are Eating Well
8. Spend time in God’s Word
It doesn’t have to be anything special. No intense studying (unless that’s what you love or feel called to do). When you just want to curl up into a tiny ball on the floor and demand to know why God felt it necessary to make such a cruel season as winter, remember these comforting verses (or any other of your favorites):
“Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away.” Song of Solomon 2:10-13
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and staff they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presences of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever. ” Psalms 23
May spring be upon us soon.
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. If you are suffering from serious depression it might be time to visit your doctor. These are suggestions only to help get over the slump that winter brings.