Sunday, January 27, 2008

Beating the Winter Blues

Thankfully, I've never had full-blown SAD, (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or depression. I do hate winter though, and will occasionally get the winter blues, especially since we have so many gray dreary days. It certainly does affect my energy level, causing me to feel sluggish both physically and mentally.

My first two winters here in Indiana were terrible. I thought winter would last forever and that spring would never arrive. I knew I had to do something to survive the long, (compared to Alabama), mid-west winters and not give in to those blahs that could easily turn into winter depression.

I decided that I needed to decorate my home using cheerful colors with a lot of floral patterns, so that even in the dead of winter, it looks and feels like spring and summer in the house. I started buying artificial flowers on clearance at the end of the season, usually they were 75% off.

I'm not snobbish at all when it comes to artificial flowers and greenery inside the home. I love the splash of color they add.

Just as I like to garden outside in the spring and summer, I like to "garden" inside with artificial flowers in the winter. I enjoy getting crafty and creating silk flower arrangements.

This arrangement goes on top of the china hutch. It is a Southern Living at Home flower pot, I took a lamp that had a broken base, added some gold and black trim to the black lampshade, and added a few flowers to the container.

I also added to my collection of teapots and tea cups, and of course, the ones chosen had roses on them.

I love old Country Roses and have tea cups and tea pots in several locations. Just sipping tea or coffee from these cups on a cold winter morning brightens my day.

I like to use bird houses, bird cages, baskets and greenery to add warmth and interest to the tops of our bookshelves.

I also love to surround myself with delicate feminine things. I found the old gloves, lace handkerchief and eyeglasses at an antique shop here in Noblesville.

I definitely wanted a floral pattern for my reading chair. Finding exactly what I wanted proved to be difficult. This pattern wasn't what I had in mind, but it was probably the best choice since it works so well with the other furniture in the family room. You can't see it very well, but the picture over my chair is of a lovely patio garden. In fact, most of the pictures I've chosen for my home have floral or outdoor scenes.

I have a few of my gardening books on the table tops, all have a doily and either a tea cup or flower arrangement on top.

I continue to find little things that brighten my day, that add joy and pleasure to my life. In the last couple of years I've taken up photography.

In my craft room I keep a collection of my favorite pictures that I took over the spring and summer, on a bulletin board above my desk. Just looking at these bright and colorful pictures makes me very happy.

Bird watching during the winter months also chases my winter blues away. I actually look forward to the snow now, ( I can't believe I just said that, but it's true), knowing that it will bring these wonderful visitors a little closer, maybe even a lot closer.

Winter gardening with a vision toward spring is yet another method I use for staving off the winter doldrums.

Edith Schaeffer, wife of Frances Schaeffer, in her book The Hidden Art of Homemaking, Creative Ideas for Enriching Everyday Life, says, "So why not surround yourself now with things that communicate something of your appreciation, your taste and your interests- in wood, stone, glass, ceramics, crystal, pottery, china, textures, fabrics, weaves; in colors, shapes, and sizes which please you?"

When we surround ourselves with the things of beauty that pleases us, it is easier to chase away the blues. When we begin to see the beauty in even the smallest things, and find pleasure in the simple things, the winter doesn't seem nearly so oppressive. That is a very valuable lesson I've learned and am continuing to put into practice.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Robin, in the lovely home you have created I would imagine that it would be difficult to have SADS. Hang in there. Spring will be coming soon.

Jayne said...

I think your ideas are wonderful Robin. Sometimes, just surrounding ourselves with color and warmth and things we love will chase away the winter blahs.

Carol said...

Robin, our homes should make us happy. And your sounds like it does. I can only imagine because for some reason I can only see two of the pictures on your post. I don't know if it is my computer or some other problem...

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Hi, Lisa. Yes, I can't believe January is almost over. The days are getting longer and spring will be here before we know it. YEA!

It does for me, Jayne. Also, just finding pleasure in the simple things. Especially nature, like bird watching. My spirits were lifted just by reading your post on the pine siskin and seeing your awesome pictures.

Hi, Carol, I'm sorry that all of my pictures didn't come up for you. There working fine for me. It may have been a Blogger problem. Thanks for trying though.

kate said...

You've created an indoor paradise filled with your favourite things. It's a wonderful way to keep SADs at bay!

jodi said...

Weirdly, I can't see any of the images in this post. I assume Blogger is having one of its 'off' days. Sounds like a peaceful, and SAD-repelling, house to me, that's for sure.

Carolyn gail said...

Hi Robin,

I, too, can't see but one photo. A great post on how you beat the winter blues.

I love my home to but I also love being outside when the weather's nice !

Robin's Nesting Place said...

For those who didn't see the pictures on this post, I think might know why.
I had this post in draft and accidentally posted the completed draft. I looked on the blog and it wasn't at the top of the page. I then deleted that post just as quickly as I could and reposted so this one would be the first to show up on the blog, rather than a few behind.

I'm thinking that those who might subscribe to my blog may have had the draft version to show up.

It could still be a Blogger error, but the post shows up fine for me and on Blotanical. I'm sorry for the error.

Jon said...

Robin, thanks for visiting my blog and you comment. I fight off SADS by sitting in my sun porch and reading all these piles of nursery catalogs trying to decide what to order for spring. I enjoyed visiting your blog and love your photos and how colorful it is. Don't you miss the Deep South? But, looks like you have put down lots of roots in Indiana.
Best regards, Jon on 1-27-08 at

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Well, that's odd. All of the pictures just disappeared. I added them all back, but now I'm not sure at all what the problem was. They weren't even in my Picasa album, not a single picture. Very strange.

mon@rch said...

I know exactly how you feel about the winter blues! I make it through the winter knowing the warblers will be back in the spring! One good thing about the winter blues is that after that point you know you are in your blues . . . signs of spring start to appear!

Mary said...

Your teacups look similar to the ones my Mom gave to me, vintage 1952. I love them with roses.

You decorate beautifully, Robin! I strive to decorate in themes I love - birds, fish, flowers. It does make a difference.

Pam/Digging said...

Your home is cheery and cozy. What a delightful way to enjoy blooms year-round.

Layanee said...

Robin: You are so right about surrounding yourself with beautiful things that please your eye! I am now inspired to go make a cup of tea...and use a pretty tea cup!

Kylee said...

Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!! I'm suffering from SAD horribly right now.

I love that Southern Living flower pot!

Melanie Vassallo said...

Oh Robin, how lovely!

I'm a silk flower person too, I have no problems filling my home with them during these blah days.

Now I know what to do with my tea cups, doilies and gardening books! All I have to do is find an empty spot first :-)

Yolanda Elizabet said...

Robin I'm happy to say that all the pics showed up in this post and that I think that you have done a wonderful job in making your house so cheerful and attractive that it will chase away even the smallest hint of SADs. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi Robin! I love your reading chair. I came across your blog while I was looking for suitable reading chairs for myself. Can I use the pic on my blog, with a link to your blog? Just for reference purposes. Do let me know. :) Cheers.