Sunday, February 10, 2013

How to break out of the winter blues

Take your family for a trip to Disney World!

My blog has been dark again.  The reason this time?  We went to Disney World!

My fabulous husband was smart and hard working enough to win an employee of the year award at his work Christmas party.  For his prize, his work paid a substantial portion of a trip to Orlando, Florida for us and our kids.  :)

It was fabulous, warm, but not too warm, and sunny.  My kids had a great time on the rides, and in the pools.  It was so nice to spend our days outside, and without any commitments.  We didn't over plan the trip and just took it as it came.  It was magical.

Prior to the trip, I was feeling blah and run down.  I came back feeling refreshed, positive and fired up.  I have never before had a warm weather vacation in the middle of winter, and I think I might be spoiled now, because I'm going to expect it again.

The challenge now is going to be avoiding falling back into the slump I was in.  Aside from moving to warmer climate, what I can do is consider what else brought me that refreshed feeling.

A big answer?  Sleep.  We had a small hotel room that was shared with young children that go to bed early.  While I sometimes did a run, laundry or used my tablet after they were in bed, there wasn't much else to do, so we tended to go to sleep early ourselves.

The other big answer?  Getting outside.  Aside from that sleep thing, we were outside for the vast majority of our days.

So, how to bring that home with me?  When it comes to sleep, it means cutting out the evening vegging and going to bed early instead.   This is key.  I have identified sleep as an issue before, but I need to recognize it's absolute importance.  There are times when I honestly can't get as much sleep as I need, and that makes it even more important that I get it when I can.

Going outside: At home, I have become a serious winter wimp, more so then in previous years.  With easy free access to a treadmill and track, I've done the majority of my runs inside.  We haven't gone sledding or skating once.  Even walks by the river have been almost non existent.  There are going to be days where it really is so cold that it's best to hibernate, but those aren't the majority.  Yes, it's cold out.  But not always, and that is what winter wear is for.  Time to suck it up and go outside more.

Real life is always going to be more challenging then vacation, but it's also where growth happens.  I'm ready.


  1. Welcome back! Sounds like you had a great time. There really is something to the warm weather vacation in the middle of winter. I loved running in the warmth, and sea level air, and look forward to it in a couple weeks.

    You are right about sleep. You hear lots of people talk about staying up, or going out at night, but I say Bah! Often I'm in bed by 9. Sometimes earlier, sometimes a bit later. I might not sleep the whole night, but I'm getting better at it.
    Keep at it.
    Oh, and a weird thing that might work for you. It needs to happen shortly after dawn. Find a window facing the sun, and watch it come up for a minute or two. It should already be over the horizon. Lightly close your eyes. Feel the warmth on your face. It's a great time to think calming and motivational thoughts. Seeing and feeling the sun can help you wake up in the morning.

  2. Congrats to your hubby for such an award! I'll bet the kids had a blast, and I'm glad you took away some lessons from the vacation.

    Winter is so much more enjoyable when you play in the outdoors, and you've got the perfect excuse - kids! Even building snowmen or snowshoeing, tobogganing and making snow angels changes your whole perspective on winter. I grew up in Canada and learned from an early age that you have to get outside in winter.

    I'm also learning about sleep these days. I'm a nightowl, but that doesn't mean I can't shut down at night - meaning no late night snacking before bed, and I'm weaning myself off the electronics, too.

    Keep up the warm, good vibes from your winter vacation!
    jess AKA GreenMtnLabbit from BT

  3. Disney is magical. We go too much!

    Another vacation choice when the kids get of a certain age is a villa rather than a hotel. We liked them so much we bought one near Disney and rent it out while we aren't there. Costs about the same as a hotel and sleep improves dramatically.

    Naps are also way underrated!