Mama... go outside.
Yes, in the winter.
If you live anywhere like where I live, this time of year is haaard. It's dark and gray, a lot. It's cold, sometimes downright frigid. That white stuff is on the ground, even worse when it's that brown slush. We haven't absorbed a trace of Vitamin D in who knows how long. So often we feel "stuck" inside. And we collectively loose our minds.
I know. I get it. But hear me out for a minute.
I married a Vermonter and early in our marriage we lived there. I arrived used to a sort of grumble over the winter months. With the exception of kids rolling around in the snow, or a few weekends skiing a slope, most people where I came from viewed winter as something to "just get through." But pretty quickly - I realized that wasn't the way in my new home.
Instead, my co-workers and friends got together for late evening snowshoe walks on full moon nights. They hiked trails with a sled on their back, in case a perfect spot to sled down presented itself. They introduced me to the awesome of a snowy campfire. They cross country skied. They downhill skied. They did their best thinking out on blowy snowy walks. They found joy in, wait for it..... the winter.
And that little lesson, well before I had children, has saved my mama mindset every January and February.
I know wrestling some kids into snow gear can leave you feeling like you've just completed navy seal training. I know Alexa says it's cold out there. I know your teenager won't wear a jacket (or maybe even pants).
But go outside.
That little patch of your face that peeks out from beneath the hat and above the scarf, needs to feel the sun. Your ears need to hear the lull of the wind, as it moves the other noises in your head to the background. Your lungs need to breathe in the respite of fresh air. Your eyes need to soak in the heal of nature, even if it's simply the trees that line a walk around the block. Your heart could use the feeling of "play." Your soul, your winter "I've had enough of the dark and gray, and I'm about to lose my mind" soul, needs the reset.
Go outside Mama. In the winter. Not just the kids. You too. With them. By yourself if you can. Even better, with a friend.
But go outside. And you just might find the best cure for the winter mama blues, is embracing exactly that... the winter.