- fresh flowers (thank you Sam)
- a fun/absorbing/creatively challenging project (of which more later, perhaps)
- low expectations
- Wednesday clean-up night
- Friday cleaning days
- shopping at Sunflower market (thus, being able to afford lots of fresh produce and interesting ingredients to experiment with when I cook)
- fruit smoothies (we usually have these more often in the summer/fall, but have had a resurgence this month)
- "I love you" banner I won from Beth last year---it looks so cheery
We (I) instituted the midweek clean-up night a few months ago, after I found that our usual Friday cleaning days were harder now that I had Daisy (surprise!) and we needed to start with everything picked up if we were going to have time for polishing/scrubbing and the other finishing touches that make things actually feel really clean. (Have you noticed that? It's the last 20% that makes the biggest difference, but we were never GETTING to the last 20% because the other 80% took so long, so my house was always partly clean, which for me emotionally is kind of the same as not clean at all.) So now on Wednesdays after dinner, the whole family moves together from room to room, picking everything up and putting everything away until the whole house is clean. When we're all working on it simultaneously, you'd be amazed how fast it goes. And it usually can't degenerate TOO far by Friday, when we do the rest of our cleaning and make everything shine. And I can't tell you how much it does for my mood and outlook, to wake up to empty floors Thursday morning, and then to have the WHOLE HOUSE CLEAN AT ONCE on Friday evening, just in time to enjoy date night and the weekend.
Anyway. That's one thing that has helped me this month, but it's not winter-specific---but I like the idea of planning and scheduling winter-specific activities for the express purpose of getting you through January and February, and I want to try it. For me, I think it will be things like flowers (as above), tickets to a play or the ballet, driving somewhere fairly close (like Price or Logan) and spending the day there, not-too-difficult art projects with the boys, homemade pizza nights, puzzle-and-cookie nights, getting some new music to listen to, etc. And of course we still do our alphabet weekends when possible, which also helps me make it through these LONG, GREY, weeks.
Has anyone tried this---planning ahead to combat your January/February depression? What do you do? Has it worked?