It’s February. Hello, cabin fever!
I tolerate winter well until February. This is the month when it all goes to pot. I get super bored. The kids get super bored. We’re bored with winter. Bored with blah landscapes outside. Bored with homeschooling. Bored with each other. My house starts to annoy me to the point I impulsively begin random projects, such as stripping all the white paint from our wood trim, completely on a whim. Boredom can make me do crazy things in February.
My kids seem to get REALLY loud and wild in February. Let’s not kid ourselves…they are mostly always loud and noisy, but it seems to come to a horrific all-time high every February, mainly because they’re pretty much bored out of their minds, too. They’re outside kids. While they do spend time outdoors during winter, it’s just not the same as summer.
So it’s at precisely this time every year that I heavily depend on hygge moments. You’re probably familiar with hygge, the Danish idea of slowing down and embracing the present moment. I’ve come to expect the blahs to hit this month, so I’m starting to smarten up and plan for it. Here’s how we hygge our February blues away.
I love turning on background music for long days at home. Nothing ups my mood like having some nice music playing in the background. I love music and I love to sing, but when it comes to creating hygge at home, nothing suits me better than some good instrumental tunes. I love soothing Celtic melodies, folk music, piano hymns…it all makes me feel comfy and cozy and nestled in. It makes it bearable to be indoors for yet another day. Pandora is my BFF in February.
By this point in our school year, we’re ready for a small change of pace. Throughout the year I stockpile things that I can pull out when needed: a new game, a new book to read aloud, a craft project or art supplies, a puzzle…basically anything to distract us for a few more weeks until the weather (HOPEFULLY) takes a turn for the better in March.
Documentaries and movies are great this time of year. We also like learning out of the box. We plan to host “restaurant night” at our house this weekend, where our dining room will be transformed into a restaurant and we host the grandparents for an evening meal. The kids are super excited about it, and it’s a great way to sneak in some school in an non-traditional way (writing menus, helping to cook the meal, adding up the pretend receipts at the end of the meal).
Finding a few ways to be extra good to yourself can really help this time of year. Maybe it’s getting a massage. (YES, PLEASE.) Spending an afternoon shopping. Sitting in a coffee shop with your favorite hot beverage. Journaling. Trying out a new recipe. Taking a long hike outdoors. Hosting a mid-winter get-together. I like to try to plan something way outside of our usual ho-hum winter routine to look forward to.
I also run to books for comfort when I’m feeling blah. (Shocker, right? What can I say – that’s what us book nerds do.) There are a few titles on my shelves that are like old friends, books I can pull out and immediately fall into. Throw on a pot of coffee and I’m almost able to forget its February.
Many of these books date back to books I read back in my good ol’ college days. They’ve been with me through many moves, three different states, marriage, kids being born…do you have any books like that? Ahhhhh. They’re so comforting.
Here are my top five:
- Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle
- Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
- Three by Annie Dillard (compilation of three books: Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, An American Childhood, The Writing Life)
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Dakota by Kathleen Norris
I’m feeling ALMOST prepared for the weeks ahead. 🙂
How do you beat the February slump?