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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Resisting the Urge to Hibernate


I thought that maybe today I would share with you what's going on with me on the mom front. Sorry if this totally sounds like a diary insert, but that's pretty much what it is. Just me talking to you. 

Winter has set in here in Michigan. It's cold outside and the thought of bundling up my kids to the nines everyday just to leave the house in itself is exhausting. So what does that leave me with? The urge to hibernate. Is anyone else with me?

The only problem with hibernation is a thing called cabin fever. Parents, if any of you have experienced cabin fever with little kiddos then you know that it is not a pretty sight. Kids need to run and blow off energy. Being locked up in a house for too long causes excess energy build up and constant melt downs. The kids too also seem a little more cranky than usual :). 

So, parents, what are we to do? I don't really know. Right now I am at the point where I am just forcing myself to find things to do. I hate being cold, but I am forcing myself to go outside and play with the kids in the snow. Really though, I don't know why people choose to live in cold weather states. There are so many warmer and sunnier places to be. . . which brings me to another point. Having the ENERGY to keep moving in the winter is hard due to the lack of sunshine and vitamin D. I have found, however, that it is totally normal to get sluggish. Our bodies naturally slow down to save energy, sort of like the way animals hibernate. However, with little ones running around we simply can't hibernate. We still have to be mom, don't we?

I decided to do a little bit of research into why I am feeling the way I am. Why am I tired and wanting to go to bed at 7pm? Why is all I want to do it cuddle up on the couch with a warm blanket and a cup of coffee? Why do I not even want to leave my house. . like. . ever? Am I depressed? No. . here is what I found.

During the winter months the days are shorter which ties into our brains chemical reactions. When the sun sets (like it does at oh. . 5pm) our brain releases melatonin. Melatonin is what tells our body it is time to sleep. So when the sun sets earlier our bodies feel it is ready to go to bed earlier. I am not quite sure why this doesn't work for my kids too, but that's what research says. (psycologytoday.com) The winter, along with shorter days and less fresh foods can also leave us feeling more anxious or depressed. Like I need another reason to feel anxious, right? I think having two young kids is reason enough!

So what can we do to fight back the winter blues?

- The best thing to do is to keep moving. Find things to do that interest you and your kids.

- Trick your body into thinking the sun is out. Turn some lights on.

- Eat like you did in the summer, you know. . like fresh fruits and veggies. I know that during the winter my diet changes too. I start to eat things that are easy and accessible. Plus, my local grocery's produce starts looking "not so delectable". If you are finding yourself in the same position, try signing up for an organic food co-op or delivery service (like Door to Door Organics).

- Exercise. Yeah, I don't feel like doing it either. . but again. . force yourself.

- Try some of the fun crafts or recipes listed on this blog. (use the tabs at the top to find something that interests you)

- Wake up, get dressed and put on make-up (if you wear it). Being physically ready for the day usually helps me feel more mentally ready for the day as well.

- Finally. . get some Vitamin D. I'm thinking a trip to Florida may help. "Hey hunny! I need to. . for medical reasons. . " Think it will work? Nah, me neither.. but it's worth a try. :)

I hope you are all having a good winter, but if any of you are starting to feel the winter blues with me lets chat. Maybe we can share ideas to stay busy with kids. Email me at raisingdickandjane@yahoo.com or comment below. 

Thinking happy (and WARM) thoughts. . 
<3 Dick and Jane

As you know, I am not a doctor. So if you are feeling severe feelings, please seek the help of a professional.