winter chill 2

Leaving the Winter Chill Outside

by Leslie Harpole

The holidays are over, but the cold winter days are still here. January and February can be the coldest (and sometimes the snowiest!) months of the season. Most of us love to see snow during the holidays. It reminds us of the season when we get distracted by the daily grind and makes us think of the days when we were young and the words “Snow Day” meant no school and hours to play outside.

But after the presents have been opened and we return to our regular work weeks, the snow and the cold lose their appeal and become a commuting nuisance and a wardrobe challenge! (How does one make 17 layers look sexy or even feminine?)

Unless you’re a real winter sports fan, which sadly I’m not so much anymore, winter forces us to be inside most of the time. I find myself getting very frustrated and fidgety with my house. I see projects in every corner of every room that need attention. I think humans are a lot like any animal that has to make it through cold weather; we get pack-rat tendencies. We hoard things. We gather stuff around us in case we need it or just to have. But we also get a bit slow, like the cold has congealed our blood a bit and we don’t run as quick and smooth. Nesting, cuddling, burrowing under a blanket is hugely appealing. Much more so than cleaning or organizing or de-cluttering of ANY kind!

When I get home from work, all I want to do is change into comfy, warm clothes, make something hot for dinner and settle under a throw on the sofa and watch episodes of Friends or a suspenseful movie that can take me away to another land or time. Tackling another item on my to-do list ranks quite low on the want-to-do list!

At my age, I’ve learned to listen very well and very closely to what my mind and my body is telling me. They are very wise about what I need to re-group, re-charge or refresh. My to-do list could be as solid as a cloud if I’m feeling out of sorts and unfocused. This is when stepping back from making grandiose promises to others and especially to yourself is a good idea. Taking stock of what you can handle at THIS moment is necessary to moving forward and accomplishing anything. Only you can know what you are capable of. But that means talking to yourself and being realistic. A woman’s inner dialog is crucial, and she must allow it to be heard! Ignoring that voice that says “Slow down” or “Do this instead of that” can be detrimental in the long run.

When winter chill makes me want to feather my nest, I find myself shopping for items with a high coziness-factor. Pillows, blankets, pots to cook warm stews and cheesy casseroles in. New rugs for the bathroom or in front of the kitchen sink. Flannel sheets so I won’t get into a cold bed. UMMM….

Whatever triggers your coziness-factor, treat yourself to one simple change. Making it one thing and simple may actually mean you will do it, and it can be the small lift that you need to spur you onto other things! You never know!

Whatever your new year’s resolutions might be, give yourself a break. This year has only begun and the last thing we need is to defeat ourselves before we begin. Upping the coziness-factor might just make you want to emerge out from under that blanket and tackle that project!

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