Hello Spring! And goodbye to the longest and hardest winter I’ve ever lived. NOT AN EXAGGERATION. Now that it’s (*fingers crossed*) in the rearview mirror, I can reflect and realize this winter was Difficult, and I know I’m not the only one who feels that way. Here in the prairie province I live, in Canada, it was once of the coldest and longest winters I can recall, with snow from October til now (end of March), so we are READY for spring!! Reflecting on the winter and looking forward to the next season, I’ve gathered some of the things that got me through the winter and that are getting me excited for spring to share with you here! Enjoy
1. The Ennegram:
If we’ve talked on the phone or in person the last few weeks, I have definitely chatted your ear off about the Enneagram because I’m SOOOO intrigued by it. More nuanced then most personality tests, the Enneagram is a model of the human psyche much more in-depth then whether you’re introverted or extroverted. It focuses more on the core motivation and fear of each 9 types, and ways to grow in emotional health as you grow in self-understanding. I’ll be sharing a blog post specifically about the Enneagram soon, but you can learn more about it from this fantastic podcast!
2. Growing my hair out
I didn’t want to maintain a super short hair cut this winter, so I’ve let my hair grow out and I’m really loving it! Low maintenance was where it was at this winter. I can wear headbands again (without looking like I have NO hair) now that it’s past my ears, and I’m hoping to be able to pull it back by summer! In 2 weeks I go blonde again, and I think this Michelle Williams inspired cut and color will be equally low maintenance for the spring/summer. LOVE
3. Baking and cooking nonstop
One of my New Years Resolutions was to hone my skills as a cook, and learn about food from friends from different cultures. Being off social media, this may be the biggest change in my day to day life. I have so much more time to focus on cooking for my family, and some weeks I bake 3-4 times! We’ve cooked supper together with friends this winter, which is a really fun date, with or without the kids! I’ve really grown to love cooking, because I’m more focused on what I’m doing and really enjoying my time in the kitchen. Some great foods I’ve made this winter for the first time are pad thai, pakoras, cheesecake, buns, biscotti, mennonite “ravioli” (schwabisch maultaschen) and homemade pasta sauce!
4. Spring clothing swap
I’ve been doing clothing swaps for the last few years, and switching up the format each year. The first one I did (inspired by my long time friend Desiree) was held at a local clothing consignment shop. I invited 20ish women, of all ages and sizes, and they brought bags and bags and bags of clothes they wanted to part with. A few friends helped me organize the clothes (and some yummy food!) to make the “shopping” as easy as possible. The women took turns browsing the tables of clothes organized by size in small groups, trying the clothes on in between their “shopping” rounds, and we all left with some “new” clothes we LOVED! Afterwards the women were able to shop the consignment store, which made a profit, and had allowed me to use their space for free, It was such a blast. The other two swaps were at a friends house, and with a smaller group of women. I like doing the swaps in spring because every one is itching to get some shopping done, and get out of their winter clothes. You can experiment with themes (dresses/formal/casual) or inviting a lot of friends or just a few who wear the same size as you, or even do book swaps or home decor swaps! I love up cycling stuff, and shopping without spending any money is so much fun!
5. Long phone calls with people I love
Not everyone is a phone person (i.e. 99% of millennials won’t answer the phone if you call them, but send a “hey! did you need something?” text two minutes later LOL) but I LOVE talking on the phone! A few Instagram friends have stayed in touch with me this way, scheduling a regular phone call so we can keep up to speed on whats going on in our lives, and it’s been such a highlight of my winter. Even a few minutes on the phone, or even an audio message, with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in awhile is better than nothing. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone and actually call someone with it!
6. Group work out classes
Working out in groups is my favorite way to get some movement in. This winter I did a Zumba class, and a handful of aqua fit classes. I really love inviting a friend or two to do the classes with me, and focusing on how much FUN I’m having instead of calories burnt or how sore I am the next day. This is definitely pricier than say working out at home, but it’s a great way to try new forms of movement. Some gyms or studios offer free classes for trying out a yoga class, or a new spin or Cross Fit teacher. If you’d like to try a work out class but can’ t afford the cost, consider auditing a few different types of classes so you can decide which one is worth investing in, and pick one to do each winter to help January or February pass by!
7. Decluttering – Marie Kondo style
I love a good trend! And Marie Kondo’s Netflix series was definitely popular this winter. And for good reason! I’ve had a few different “decluttering” seasons since becoming a mom (the stuff kids can cause you to accumulate, it’s craziness!) but Marie Kondo’s method of decluttering is truly one of a kind. I really enjoyed the first episode of the series especially, because it was a young family with 2 little kids. Just like me! Marie Kondo is so non-judgmental about what stuff you choose to keep, and what “sparks joy” for you, and so it’s really a self-led process, which is why I think it works! Her folding method will change your life. Go stream it now!
“Don’t focus on reducing, or on efficient storage methods, for that matter. Focus instead on choosing the things that inspire joy and on enjoying life according to your own standards.” -Marie Kondo, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up
8. Medication + therapy!
As hard as this winter was, I was still able to find joy and peace amidst the hard times in part to the medication I’ve started for PMDD, and regular therapy. Winter is hard for a lot of people – but don’t make it harder for yourself then it needs to be! Having someone to talk to that isn’t your spouse or mom can be so helpful, and finding the right coping strategies to get through the inevitable hard times in life is so important. If this winter felt extra bleak and dark, call your doctor or consider discussing your mental health with a close friend. Sometimes we don’t realize how difficult things have gotten until we’ve come out of a hard season. That’s how I feel about this winter, and now heading into spring. As the days get longer and warmer, I feel myself coming out of a hibernation, frosty sleep as well. So many people are affected by SAD, or feel isolated during winter months. Get out for a walk if it’s warm-ish where you are today, call a friend, reach out to someone and ask them how their winter really was and show yourself a little extra TLC and self care as we head into April because we made it through a tough winter friends, even if just barely.
Love and light to you this spring.
p.s. Welcome to new readers! I’m so happy to see this blog grow, with new readers from the blogging world and readers who have come over from Instagram. Here are some of the topics you’ll see on the blog over the next few months:
- the Enneagram: what it’s about, how to find your number, why I love it
- Grief: a beloved friend of mine will be sharing about her experience with infant loss and tips for helping a loved one through the loss of a child
- Letters to myself for times I’m struggling with anxiety, PMDD, and prioritizing in motherhood
- My first podcast interview (can’t wait to share this with you!) and more about the incredible podcaster who interviewed me
- How I feel about turning 29 (y’all know I LOVE my birthday!)