Every year I fight the blues for two months straight. It’s that time when Christmas decorations have been packed away, but the light of spring hasn’t arrived yet. Sunlight is limited, gray is the theme color, and cold temperatures make me dream of a tropical vacation. (If you live in a sunny climate, I’m completely jealous of you and not ashamed to admit it.)
By sheer nature of geography, there are a good number of us who face these gray, dark days of winter. And as moms, the stakes are even higher. Not only do we choose our mood, but we set the tone for our kids too.
So how do we survive these weeks when the tropical weather is a distant dream? How do we add life when everything around us is cold?
Here are three places where you can create warmth to survive the winter blues.
Warm up your spirit
There is absolutely no way to survive the winter blues without keeping your eyes focused on God. Start or end your day with intentional Bible reading and prayer. If you’ve been in a rut with your personal quiet time, invest in a new devotional or explore new Bible translations on BibleGateway.com. Refreshing your approach will bring God’s Word to life again.
Another way to warm your spirit is to make weekly church attendance a high priority. Yes, it’s dark in the morning, but being around other believers will renew your joy. If you have space in your calendar, consider adding a serving opportunity. Many non-profits have a surge of volunteers around Christmas but continue to need help after the holidays are over. It will be a blessing to you and them to plug in and help.
Warm up your space
Last year I sort of accidentally left the Christmas tree up until the end of February. I say “sort of accidentally” because it started out as an innocent oversight. My husband and I were juggling an incredibly busy time and didn’t have brain space to think about taking down the tree.
By the end of January, I realized that I loved having it up and said to my husband, “Why don’t we leave it a while longer? Winter is depressing enough. I don’t want to make it worse by taking down the extra color in our house.” For the next month, I found myself looking forward to snow instead of dreading it, because I could peer out my window and see a landscape of white framed by twinkle lights on the tree. In a “sort of accidental” way, I survived the winter because of that extra warmth and light.
Maybe you’ve already taken down your Christmas tree or you can’t bear the thought of keeping it up any longer. Whatever the case, do what you can to add extra light and warmth to your home. Turn on all the lamps during the day and evening. Light a fire in your fireplace more often. Or create a fun tradition of making hot chocolate or cider with your family every week (or in my family’s case, every night).
Warm up your smile
If you’re still struggling with the blues, it’s time to bring your smile back by focusing on gratitude. Keep a notepad by your bed and start each day by writing five things you’re thankful for. When you lie down to sleep, write five more. I guarantee this will start to shift your perspective.
You might also warm up your smile by adding more lunch or coffee dates with friends. Who are the people who fill you up with understanding, laughter, or joy? Reach out and set a regular date on the calendar.
The winter blues are real, but they can be survived. Warm up your spirit, your space, and your smile, mama. Brighter days are coming.