Winter's Bounty

I know what a lot of you are thinking, I hear it every day. The holidays are over, the sky is grey, the nights are long. In walks aching joints, sour moods, and the occasional seasonal depression. This time of year can be difficult for a lot of us. I know it sure can be for me. It can feel like there’s not much to look forward to until the spring, when the earth is alive again. And that makes the winter drag out even longer.

Well of course there are the snow bunnies out there, those of you who ski or snowboard your way to a happy ending every week. But even winters like this can be damaging on the mood, when we don’t get to enjoy the annual snowfalls (I mean, what, did it snow like twice so far? Come on!)

That’s where self care comes in. I challenge everyone who reads this to do the following:

ONCE-A-WEEK CHALLENGE: Once a week, find one inside activity you can do with a friend, loved one, or the whole family. One board game you haven’t dusted off in years, or a new puzzle from the store. Just once a week, from now until March first. Make a night of it, silence phones, make no other plans.

ONCE-A-MONTH CHALLENGE: Once a month, find one place to visit. Money doesn’t have to fit into the equation! Find a beautiful place outdoors that you may not regularly think of as a winter-time activity. For example, every year my husband and I take a trip for my birthday at the end of January to the beach! We plan a day off, make a nice brunch at home, bundle up, and hit the closest place the ocean resides that isn’t off-limits during the winter (we go to Rye beach!). Seeing something that is so familiar, but from a different perspective, makes me feel completely inspired. If that’s not your thing, perhaps a museum in the city! Many of them are suggested donation to get into. It doesn’t matter what you think of, just something that you can do for the day. Even if it means taking off a day of work in advance so you and a buddy can do it together, no excuses, just do it!

If you plan even just one day adventure a month, it will give you something to look forward to. That can be a real mood booster.

Busy schedules are a part of life. Sure, I’ve read the occasional self-help book to give me ideas for motivation. Often times, a motivational speaker will carry on that doing one nice thing for yourself a day can be an inspiring technique. That may not work for everyone, sure didn’t work for me! Give yourself the once-a-week and once-a-month challenges and see how it works out for you! Let us know what sort of things you’re planning on doing, so we can all share ideas… Where will the rest of the winter take you?

Bea Kern