It’s inevitable – for me at least. The cold winter months linger, the holidays and visiting end, and the days become shorter, less sunny, less inviting. Here in New York, we can count on nasty weather from here until at least the end of March. It’s only about 10 weeks, but what a long, drawn-out ten weeks they can be.
During the warmer months, it was nice to take my laptop or notebook and sit in the park to work. Daughter would play basketball or run. I’d join her on a bike ride and maybe we’d sit at the marina for a quick alfresco lunch. Wonderful.
Now that the temperature hovers around freezing out there, with beautiful white snow reduced to city slush, the last thing I want to do is spend unnecessary time outside. And yet, a house can feel oppressive after a while – cabin fever and all that.
So how do you beat those winter blues?
I read somewhere that one way to do it is to pick a closet, any closet, and empty it. I can hear you now – “Huh?!” Well, after you empty it, sort through it all. Dump what you don’t use and give away the rest. GIVE AWAY the rest. It’s that act of clearing out, purging, and giving to those without that helps clear the winter blues in ways we don’t expect.
You know how when you write a great block of prose, you can’t resist reading it again? Think of how it makes you feel. Then think about how the house looks immediately after you (or someone else) has tidied and cleaned it. You WANT to look at it. You WANT to show it off.
It’s that same way with that closet. Or cupboard. Or drawer. Take one small task you’ve been avoiding and push yourself to start it – because most times, starting is the hardest part. Once you’ve finished, chances are you’ll itch to do more – even if only for the reward of having it DONE.
Keep pushing yourself to start. Choose one task per day – or week – or whatever. Just do it. You’ll not only have a less-cluttered living space, you’ll also limit the time you have to dwell on the winter blahs.
Just do it.
That’s what I did over the holidays with my house – one thing at a time and the feeling was great. Yes, it’s nice to come home to a clean house no matter who cleaned it BUT the sense of accomplishment when you do it yourself, well, nothing really tops that. 🙂
Hope the winter blahs leave you soon. We don’t get them much around here – in fact, I could probably have my air conditioner on right now without making it too cold in here…
What winter we have in So. Cal. is so quick that I don’t get the winter blues, I actually get the summer dolldrums. I get tired of the heat especially if the Santa Ana winds are blowing, they’re like the hot breath of God and so dry it makes my skin hurt. But I’d take it any day over snow!
Air conditioning. Ahhh…. brrrrr. Makes me cold just thinking about it. lol. I sometimes forget winter doesn’t visit everyone. I have to say, some New Yorkers love the change of seasons but I, for one, can do with the change from fall to winter. Fall straight to spring would be my choice. No winter blues then. 🙂
Et tu, Beth? No winter??? Ah, but summer dolldrums… I can relate to that. Sometimes there’s just no escape, but I agree, I’d take a normal summer heat over the frost and biting cold of winter any day.
Yesterday, btw, I cleaned my kitchen cupboards. Today… the linen closet. Maybe. Sounds good on paper, but we’ll see if I can actually convince myself to do it. :-/
Hi Debbie. Funny, I was just thinking of cleaning out my file cabinets when I found your blog post. I think I’ve got the winter blahs, too, even though I live in Calif. and love what passes for winter here. I just can’t get excited about anything now. Maybe cleaning out the cabinet will help.
Laura, you should move to Calif. We basically go from fall to spring to summer, and sometimes we even get summer-like intervals in the middle of January. It’s weird if you grew up back east like I did.