When the excitement of Christmas is over and the days are short, the Winter blues can descend. It starts getting dark about 4pm here and when you are quite rural your options can be limited in winter. Make sure everyone has the right clothing for when the weather turns so you can still get outside but if it’s really grim, here are some ways you can make the most of the season.
Do your tax return – If you need to do one and you haven’t already, January 31st is your deadline for tax year ending April 2018. I often use this time to have an overall look at finances. Is there subscriptions you are paying for but no longer need? Make sure they are still worth your money. Go through bank statements and see if there are any savings you can make and organise the budget for the year in terms of big purchases or holidays.
Declutter and clean – why wait until Spring? Come Spring you will have planting and sowing to do, the days will be getting longer, why would you then spend time indoors? Use this period of enforced homeliness to ensure you house is organised and cleaned.
Cosy fires – if you have a fire make sure you have logs, kindling etc. Teach the kids to lay a fire so they feel involved, get some hot chocolate and marshmellows in. I like to do this as a treat on a Friday after school.
Go easy on the screen time – with less scope for outdoor play, make sure all that time is not used on screens. If you join in the board games on a Sunday afternoon even for an hour it encourages them to play on their own.
Go swimming – sounds an odd one for Winter but its indoors and a good one for blowing away the cobwebs. The kids can put onesies on straight afterwards so they are warm quickly (always useful if you have a few children to get dressed).
Feed the birds – Help keep our feathered friends going over winter. We have a few different bird feeders dotted around the garden so there’s not a big scrum. There’s the RSPB Big Bird Count this weekend to take part in too.
Check out the seed catalogues – Something quite satisfying about sitting down with a seed catalogue, a notebook and a cup of tea. Plan what you are going to grow for the year ahead and order in your seeds and plants.
Now I have lived a full year in the country and experienced all the seasons, I find I really appreciate beautiful days in a way I didn’t in the city. We really make the most of the clear blue skies now, even if they are winter ones.