Winter is traditionally not my favorite season. Sure the first few snow storms are always exciting but once the blanket of winter is upon me I don’t like it… at all. I find that whenever I hunker down, hover by the fire and try to stay indoors, it tends to make the winter seem even longer. So what is one to do when the frozen tundra surrounds you?

IMG_1408Go outside and enjoy those surroundings! These past  few Sundays after church, my husband and I have gathered the kids and the dog and gone hiking through the woods. We were able to find some really neat treasures that we might not have seen in the summertime. We saw bear prints in the snow, a red tailed hawk perched in a distant tree, and even an “ice slide”.  Although we got the occasional complaint, I think the family had fun and it was nice to get outside, take in the scenery get some fresh air. We came out of the woods with a “refreshed feeling”. There is a lot to be said for spending time in nature. It’s such a simple thing to do and I wish we could enjoy that more often.

If it’s just too cold to go outside, try to be productive and declutter a room, desk or even a drawer. Take it one small task at a time. Even just a drawer is one step closer to simplifying your life. It’s something you could include the kids in on as well. My most recent decluttering task has been the basement. I recently went through a few boxes that had been sitting down there for years. The girls really enjoyed going through them with me. I was able to share stories with them as the items brought back memories. We gave most of the things away to charity, but the box of pictures we came across was the added bonus. As we looked through the pictures we were able to sort them by sibling. The pictures that were attached to my brother and sister were put into piles and I was able to send them out respectively which was a nice treat for them to receive. My brother actually told me that he was able to share stories of the photos with his kids as he too went down memory lane. That was a win-win project, I was able to clear some space in the basement and bring joy to my family as well.

FullSizeRender-1Another way to take your mind off of the dark days of winter is to take on a new hobby, try something new. Whether it is sewing, trying a new recipe or even drawing or painting. How about photography, have you ever taken winter pictures outside? They can be breathtaking! Even your local library might offer a class that you or your kids would be interested in. Keeping yourself busy while possibly accomplishing something is a great way to help make those long winter months go by much faster. These certainly don’t have to be all day projects because time is almost always an issue, but if you just set an hour or two aside, you can really find the joy in even the most dismal of days.

~Jen

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