It is cold here in Michigan at the moment. Soon it will be, “stay outside 15 minutes and get frost-bite” cold. It’s time to hunker down. The local schools have had snow days and there are more to come.
For many of us, there is the added joy of more lockdown. For me because we had a preemie in the house and before that my daughter was pregnant, we’ve gone nowhere since March but nature walks, the grocery store, Dr. appts/NICU, a few social distancing walks with friends and two masked family visits. Oh and we picked up food from a restaurant 3 times.
Lockdown is hard enough without adding winter to the mix. So not only do we need things to occupy us, we also long for ways to comfort ourselves and our family.
Here are some options for you:
- Re-read some of your favorite books from childhood under a blanket.
- Set up a card table and put up a jigsaw people for everyone to do
- Do more yoga. Or find a new to you way to move your body.
- Pop some real popcorn on the stove and catch some family-friendly movies.
- Take longer baths and showers then slather on the moisturizer.
- Build a pillow and blanket fort.
- Drink lots and lots of water.
- Visualize a warm, comforting place like a local beach in summer.
- Light candles, gather blankets and make hot cocoa for a family reading afternoon
- Bring compassion for yourself and others. Everyone is doing the best they can. Close confinement means people will end up annoying each other. And you won’t always feel you are doing your best or getting all the things done you think you should. It’s ok.
- Have a dance party with fancy outfits and glitter lotion, even better with songs you remember from your teenage years.
- Don’t stay in your head all the time. Notice the things and people around you. Play in the suds as you wash dishes. Look out the window at the sky. Feel how it feels to stand up straight. Use your senses.
- Write real cards or letters to friends and relatives. Better yet, make your own.
- Create a gratitude journal so you can write down the good moments of your days.
- Do a board game/card game night.
- What stories will you have to tell at the end of winter?
- Pull up Karaoke on Youtube and have a sing-a-long. Or if family members play instruments do a little talent show.
- Take deep breathing breaks, even if you have to hide in the bathroom.
- Set up a table to do crafts – paints, play-doh, or some snow day only crafts
- When you feel badly, let yourself feel badly. Write it out, dance it out, punch pillows, shake your body, cry.
- Do some fun, science experiments.
- Take your next action slowly. Don’t race. Work from love, not fear.
- Create a scavenger hunt where kids need to find items from a list you make up
- Amp up your spiritual practice for guidance, support and strength.
- Call friends and relatives regularly to support one another.
- Bake cookies from Grandma’s recipe
- If you are spending too much time binge-watching, cultivate a new (or old) hobby.
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule (for those of you without newborns!)
- Put on something comfy – fluffy socks, soft shirt, yoga pants
- Watch a comedy or funny pet videos on youtube. (I actually like the persistent squirrels finally getting into the bird feeders.)
- Color – you can use an adult coloring book and the kids can do theirs.
- Turn off the screens for a day.
Stay cozy this winter!
Pix by Brea Dargis