In case you haven’t met me, my absolute favorite way to spend a snowy day is with a lovely hot beverage, a cat, a blanket, and a book. That said, there are a few other ways to lift the winter blahs that might not be as obvious. Ways that don’t rely on distractions like television or the internet. Here are my top 5 ways to really nestle down and enjoy a snowy day.
- Plan for Spring. It’s easy to get inspired and eager for spring when the seed and plant catalogs start rolling in after Christmas. I love sitting in a cozy spot with my dreams all around me. I scatter them all around and have several open at a time. Some of them are just as full of information as a website. The illustrated ones like Botanical Interests, and the big ones like the Baker Creek Whole Seed Catalog are an absolute treasure. This year I was also able dig out my almanac and my calendar and get busy planning dates. Now that we have room to plant things, it’s hard to contain my enthusiasm.
- Dig out That Craft. You know the one. That jewelry set, blanket, or other craft that didn’t quite get finished but that you fell in love with and can’t let go of. Dig it out and give it some love. WOrking on something handmade creates a one of a kind piece, even if it’s from a kit. It has your creative flair, your mistakes, your loving attention. If it doesn’t get done, at least you made progress. If it does, bonus!
- Clean Something Usually Neglected. It doesn’t have to be a very hard thing to clean, unless you’re up to it. Anything that doesn’t get much attention on a regular basis, maybe your sunglasses, your magazine caddy, or your desk. If you’re feeling ambitious, you might tackle that shower or that refrigerator. This will endow you with a sense of accomplishment, even if nobody else notices. You will see that extra gleam of clean and know you’ve made something better. Being mindful while working will also be good for practicing gratitude and appreciating the object for what it is and its role in nurturing you. If it’s not nurturing you or someone in the home, perhaps it is something you can do without. I’m not saying to go full Kondo, but it never hurts to simplify a bit.
- Get Creative in The Kitchen Okay, so you probably guessed that baking was on the list, but it doesn’t just have to be cookies or sweets. Baking bread takes time, and it’s a full sensory experience when done by hand. Try other time consuming cooking adventures that busy days don’t allow for if baking isn’t your thing, like making homemade chicken and noodles- with handmade noodles, or lasagne from scratch. Use the best quality ingredients you can, and build a dish to nurture body, mind, and spirit. Put your own spin on the recipe, too. Don’t be content with basic recipes, (though you might have to do much of it the same for it to come out right,) add things, tweak it. Do something spectacular, and totally you. Bacon, cheddar, and jalapeno meatloaf, anyone? Go wild.
- Go Outside. Yes, you heard that right. Go outside and capture, with your camera, sketch pad, notepad, brain, whatever. Dig into this with all your senses and really capture it. This is quite possibly the best creative exercise you can do. It’s easy to stay in, stay warm, try to avoid the snow and cold, but there is so much potential here for your creative work. Learning to capture and communicate something about the world, about life, maybe about the soul is at the heart of what we do as artists. As a writer and photographer, I use my camera and my notebook to capture and recreate for things like setting, for specific detail, and for tone. If I never experienced an Oklahoma ice storm, I wouldn’t have that experience to draw on. So much of it is drawing on what we experience. So get out there and experience it. Then come in and do the other things. You might gripe about it at first, but whatever you can capture will come back to serve you someday. I know it.
Well there you have it, folks. My top five ways to beat the snow-day blahs. I hope you’ve found something here to help, and if you’d like a glimpse of our recent snow day here on the homestead, you can check out this short video on the YouTube Channel.
Until next time,