Beating the Cold Weather Blues
November 21, 2023
by jessica alvarado
Well, my friends, the first snowstorm of the season has come and gone and with it brought a big ol’ reality check for this girl. I am not ashamed to admit that I am in fact a big sissy. I despise being cold. You may be thinking to yourself, well why do you live in Montana if you don't like the cold? Trust me, I have tried desperately to move down south where the definition of "snowstorm" is when an inch of snow falls, and everything shuts down. Instead, the good Lord has kept me here where the grueling cold comes sooner than I would like and stays far longer than it's welcome.
Okay, okay that's enough of my dramatic complaining. The winter isn't really that bad but if we let ourselves go down the rabbit hole of complaining it can truly become our bitter reality for months and months. So, this year how about we go into the cold season with a game plan, a way to proactively help ourselves stay engaged and uplifted instead of sinking into a cold weather slump. A simple plan focusing on three main areas: our minds, bodies, and souls.
1. Mind: Get outside every day for at least 15 minutes
Now I know there are some of you snow bunnies who may be laughing to yourselves thinking, "Geez that's a low bar, I'm outside all winter skiing, sledding, shoveling etc..." Well, I'm very happy for you, but for the rest of us it can truly take every bit of our mental energy to get outside in freezing cold temperatures. So, for those of you who are like me, lets go on a mission to make sure we get out and stay out for at least 15 minutes of walking, shoveling, or playing with our kids. It doesn't matter what we’re doing, we just need to be getting fresh air in our lungs and a little sunshine on our skin. (Even on the coldest of days, we can catch a little bit of outdoor time.) Trust me, I know it can be so hard to get out there, but once you do, I'm certain you’ll be glad that you did. Being outside can help us to clear our minds, breathe a little deeper, and escape a rising cabin fever for just a few minutes. If you need a little more motivation than that, reward yourself with a nice warm and yummy beverage when you come back in and that will definitely keep you motivated to just go and do it.
2. Body: Soup, soup and more soup
We all know that cold weather brings in a slew of illnesses that can plague our homes for months. Coughs, runny noses, and stuffed sinuses all mean grumpy people with a lack of sleep and energy. So, one thing we can do to help hedge our families against a slew of illness is by making nourishing homemade soup. Now hear me loud and clear, I am not talking about buying some shelf-stable pre-made soup from the grocery store. That does not have the same healing and restorative benefits as homemade soup from scratch. I say this out of love, I don't care how busy you are, you can make homemade soup easily and deliciously and I'm about to tell you how. First, buy the best quality whole chicken you can afford. Next, put that chicken in your crockpot. Then, add a few veggies and some spices (don’t forget the salt). Lastly, fill it with water and let that baby cook all day. When it's done just remove the bones from the chicken and viola you have a delicious and nourishing meal that will feed your family's bellies and fill them with beneficial amino acids, gelatin, and minerals. I don't know about you, but when I sip a warm homemade soup it literally makes my whole being feel so good. So go right now and add whole chicken to your grocery list. You can thank me later.
3. Soul: Make social plans regularly
I don't know about you, but for me, it's always been harder to commit to social engagements during the colder parts of the year. Getting out and about when the weather is fair is significantly easier than when it’s below zero and there’s a foot of snow on the ground. So, to make sure we are engaging regularly with friends and family, it’s best to mentally commit ahead of time to actually doing it. Whatever a realistic goal is for you, make sure you are getting together with others to stay connected and help prevent yourself from slipping into a funk of feeling isolated and alone. It could be a group fitness class, a book club, a Bible study, or just inviting some friends over for tea. Whatever it is for you, don't slack on connection this winter. It doesn't have to be a big ordeal and your house doesn’t have to be immaculate, you just need to be with others.
So, there you have it. None of these concepts are mind blowing but they really are three easy things that we can prioritize to make this time of year a more enjoyable one. Cold days don't have to be depressing ones, they can be joyful and fun if we are intentional about them!
Jessica is a full-time mom and homemaker raising her two daughters with her husband David. She authors a blog at lifeseverydayblessings.com where she documents what she is learning in hopes that those who read it feel encouraged to embrace the blessings that can be found in everyday life.