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.