Being a stay-at-home mom is a rewarding but a difficult job. But during the winter time when the days are short, cold and dreary, it’s no wonder most of us struggle with some level of winter blues.
Once the blues set in, winter can feel like it will never end. Day after day being at home. For some of us, the blues can knock us down to the point that now we're also dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Thankfully, there are some natural and simple ways to help us survive the winter, and maybe even get through it unscathed. If the long winter months are getting to you, try these tips to brighten up your days!
The winter blues
When you're at home with little ones in the winter time, the days can seem endless. And now in 2020, with Covid, quarantine fatigue has set in to many of us. Sure, it was a bit easier to take walks when it was warm and sunny, but now it's cold!
Putting extra layers on your children, getting them outside or to the car sounds like a lot of work and staying home seems like a better idea. And now the days start running into each other, you're missing friends, family and you're making yourself miserable. There are some ways to get through this and first step is you need to take care of yourself.
Get some vitamin D
Being low in vitamin D is very common, especially in the winter. One major contributor of vitamin D is sunshine, so being stuck inside for weeks at a time can obviously have quite the effect on us. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to depression and mood disorders, like SAD.
Add a quality vitamin D supplement to your daily routine to help improve your levels. Also, open up all the blinds during the day. Dress warm and brave the cold to get some much needed fresh air. Even if it's just a quick walk around the block and you may not feel like it. However, if the sun is shining, so soak up as much as you can!
Take a shower
I get it. Why bother taking a shower and getting dressed in the morning if no one is going to see you anyways. Do it, because it will add a bit of normalcy and routine into your day. Have your partner take the baby or place him or her in the crib for a few minutes. Have older kids, get them entertained in front of the TV or a puzzle to keep them occupied.
And do this every morning. Get up, get yourself ready for the day. You will feel better already when you take off the sweatpants and put on jeans. Besides, now you're dressed so you can take that walk we were just talking about!
Eat a healthy diet
When we are feeling down, we tend to turn to comfort foods. While sweet treats and carbs can give you a temporary high, the crash that follows can be rough. And in the end, you’ll be feeling worse.
Enjoy some dark chocolate now and then, but make it a point to avoid too much processed food, sugar, and simple carbs. A healthy, clean diet will leave you feeling better both physically and mentally.
Get the endorphins flowing with regular exercise. These hormones, improve both mood and energy which is why people who exercise tend to be happier people. This doesn’t mean you need to work out long and hard every single day. Simply taking a brisk walk for half an hour a day will do the trick, especially if you can walk outside and get the added benefit of fresh air and sunshine.
If it's safe to do so, call a friend and go snowshoeing. If you can't make it outside, turn up the radio and have a dance party with your kids. The key is to get moving!
Having a goal will help motivate you to get out of bed in the morning. And finishing a project is always very satisfying. It doesn’t have to be a major project. Freshen up the paint in your living room, rearrange your bedroom furniture, or organize the closet. Tackle that stack of books you’ve resolved to read in 2020, or jump into an old hobby again. Set that project goal and chase it, leaving your winter blues behind.
Being at home with your kids all day, well to be honest can be quite mind-numbing and exhausting. Finding ways to connect with other mom friends, spouse, relatives is essential.
Plan on a time to call a relative via video call or phone call. Plan a Zoom call meeting to get together with your gal pals. Many are enjoying 'Mom Night Ins' with friends this way. Make up a drink and chat the night away after the kids are in bed.
Another idea after the kids are in bed is to settle down to watch the news, movie or whatever else is on that is not for kid-friendly is perfect here.
Take time for you
Remember those things you use to love to do before you had kids?
Take a bath with no one calling your name.
Write in a journal that doesn't have scribble marks.
Read a book that has more words than pictures.
Find what you love to do and take some time for yourself. Get up before the kids are awake or wait until they are asleep and then take that time to really enjoy whatever it is you love to do.
Don’t worry, the winter won’t last forever. If you follow these tips, not only will you make it through but you’ll be happy and healthy when the snow finally melts and spring shines through!