As I write this, it is negative nine degrees. NEGATIVE. NINE. DEGREES. I give up, Mother Nature. You win.
It’s no secret that this winter has been a TOUGH one, and there’s still no end in sight. The unrelenting snow and record-breaking low temperatures have really had an effect on me, and I’m sure I’m not alone. “Seasonal depression”, “cabin fever” and all those other not-so-nice words have really taken their toll on my state of mind. And then there’s the inevitable sickness that comes with the winter months. My sons have had a countless number of colds, coughs, ear infections, and one (disgustingly awful) stomach bug. Then cue the ripple effect – all the snow days and sick days lead to missed work days, which in turn leaves me constantly playing catch up and never getting ahead. This past weekend I was snowed in (yet again) with two bored little boys full of energy bouncing off my walls. There were more than a few times I was close to tears (usually before 9:00am…how are these weekend days SO long?!)
Today, with my kids mercifully back in daycare (no doubt bouncing off those walls), I’ve had a few minutes to reflect on this season. I will (begrudgingly) admit that not everything may be as horrible as I tend to portray it. Trying to conjure up some positivity, and maintain what’s left of my sanity, I’ve come up with a list of things I do appreciate/enjoy about this long, long winter. So here it is:
Health – Before you say I’m contradicting myself, let me explain. My boys have had temporary illnesses. Temporary. Treatable with a little ibuprofen, tissues, snuggles, and the occasional prescription for amoxicillin. That helpless feeling we parents get when our children are sick is the worst. But knowing that these are not serious illnesses and they will get better is something to always be grateful for and never take for granted.
Long, Steamy Showers – My shower. I have a new appreciation for this ceramic little enclosure. It’s my escape. And in the cold winter months, I take really long, really hot, steamy showers. I stand there (and sometimes sit) and let the hot water and steam soak in and warm my body from the outside in. Showers in the summer months are just not the same.
Exfoliating Products – While taking my long, steamy, winter shower I use exfoliating scrubs. I am obsessed with anything that has the word “scrub”, “salt” or “exfoliating” in its description. I also LOVE my exfoliating gloves. You can use them with any of your favorite body washes, gels, or even plain old soap. Especially in the winter months when my skin is dull and dry, these products revive my skin and leave it feeling soft, looking refreshed and – dare I say – glowing. I highly recommend it! Just be sure to use separate face and body products. Products made for the body are much too harsh for your face, and vice versa. Face products aren’t coarse enough to achieve the maximum result on your body. Also, it’s very important to moisturize after exfoliating.
Hot Drinks – I drink hot coffee all year round, but there is just something about that first sip of coffee on a cold morning that is SO good. Also, after my three year old and I come in from playing in the snow, we make hot chocolate. The whole process of making it and watching him pretend it’s coffee “like Mom and Dad drink” is so much fun.
Comfort Food – Oh Carbs, why do you have to be so delicious? Pasta, bread, macaroni and cheese, pizza, casseroles, I could go on. I LOVE comfort food. And I can’t mention comfort food without talking about the big, bold red wines that go so perfectly with them. It may not be the healthiest meal, but in my mind, a big plate of pasta paired with a nice Cabernet Sauvignon is the perfect winter meal. And the next morning if you feel a little guilty? Bloated? Eh, just throw on a big hoodie. After all, it’s NEGATIVE NINE DEGREES.
That’s I got. Now, how many days ’till Spring?