Depression · Refreshment · Winter

Ten Ways To Refresh a Dreary Winter Day

Did you know that “January Funk” is really a thing people deal with? “Funk” is a state of depression. It can be very mild, with just a feeling of the blah’s. It can feel like a gray day has settled in your heart.

I am a lover of warm, sunny days, so wintertime can often feel dreary to me. However, I have a list of ten things that really do bring the sunshine in and lift the winter weariness!

  1. Bible Reading – Shortly after rising, I love to get my coffee, a comfy chair and a lovely view, and start the day with my open Bible and my journal! It gives me something to meditate on all day long! Even though my Chronological reading plan has me in Job right now (not exactly a lifter-upper Book) I am seeing so many wonderful character traits of my awesome God! That’s what I’m meditating on each day!
  2. Light – I let in as much natural light as the temperatures allow. Curtains open, blinds up and when it warms a bit, the front door is swung open! I also have lamps on throughout the house to brighten up dark corners.

3. Plants – Flowers and plants also help to brighten my heart. Sometimes I cut greens from my yard. Sometimes I pick up flowers at the grocery store. I also still love my Wick plants! They are thriving beautifully!

4. Candles – I usually ALWAYS have a candle burning. Right now you can find great deals on candles, so stock up! This three-wick candle smells amazing and cost me $6. It adds light, aroma and warmth to the room!

5. Media. We have an Alexa in three rooms of our home. I have it playing my “Favorites” and I love the variety I hear! I also listen to several podcasts each day. At lunchtime my husband and I also usually always watch Andy Griffith. You just can’t be gloomy when you watch Barney’s antics!

6. Hobbies – It’s no secret that I love to bake. I’ll bake for company coming, or for a friend in need, a neighbor, or even put things in the freezer for later use. I never regret having something baked and stored away! I also work on my watercolor painting hobby, sewing, or scrapbooking. It’s fun to get creative!

7. Productivity – Getting up and getting things done is helpful in improving my outlook. If I get supper in the crockpot early in the day, pop in a load of laundry, work on a radio broadcast, or write a card to stick in the mail, I get energized! It’s great to get things accomplished and even work ahead!

8. Exercise – It was 22 degrees most mornings this week, but also sunny and I decided it was perfect for a walk! I bundled up three days in a row and walked 2.25 miles while I talked to the Lord. It felt good to exercise, talk to the Lord, and get some fresh air!

9. Fellowship = Our small groups are reconvening this week and I think we’re ALL excited about it! Those pies you saw were made for our small group. I usually make something pretty simple, but wanted to kind of celebrate getting back together after a long holiday break. The fellowship with others is so important in encouraging your heart! This is one reason why the Lord wants us to meet together as a Church Body. We need the fellowship and the encouragement, the worship, the corporate prayer and the building up of one another!

10. Ministry to others – It’s easy to get so focused on our own dreariness that we fail to see that others outside our home might need some encouragement, too. Ask the Lord to show you who needs you to reach out to them, and then recognize what their needs might be. As Proverbs 11:25 says, Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.

Friends, God cares about your burdens. He created you and He created the seasons. Talk to Him if you’re feeling down. Ask Him to help you have a right perspective about your season, your surroundings and your sadness.

I hope you’ll add one or more of these ten suggestions and watch your heart be encouraged…even in winter!

What do you do to encourage your heart in a funk? Share it in the comments.

Refreshment · The Scenic Route · Winter

Beating the Winter Blues

The winter blues are a real thing and I find it crucial in the middle of these winter months to make special effort to stay encouraged. Simple pleasures can go a long way in perking up my dreary spirits. Here’s a sampling of some of my recent winter day activities that helped beat the blues.

The best way to defeat being down is to have my heart lifted up through the Truths of God’s Word. This year I’m reading through the Bible using a chronological plan. Already I’ve seen new truths, been comforted about God’s care and presence, and have been reminded that God always has a plan for every person in every situation. That means right now in 2021, during a pandemic, on a dreary winter day, He is at work!

My husband and I played a round of Rummikub on Sunday evening. It was a cold night, so we set up a small table in front of the fireplace and enjoyed the warmth of the fire while we played. It was warm, it was fun, and we had time together!

We had a sunny day this week and I was determined to make the most of it. This was my radio recording day, so I headed out early so I could get my Jeep washed and also do a little shopping beforehand. It was a needed morning out!

I’ve been working on redoing our family room since September and the last piece of furniture I need for that room is a love seat. I’ve been looking for months and just couldn’t find what I wanted. We took a drive to Greeneville, TN to Robert’s Furniture Store and I found this lovely piece that is going to be perfect in my newly decorated space! It will be delivered later this week and I can’t wait. I am going to paint a wall, then I’ll be anxious to make a reveal here on my blog!
If you’re in East Tennessee, you need to visit Robert’s. It’s a locally owned business with the sweetest people and quality furniture. I can’t say enough about our experience with them!

Doing what we love, my husband and I took the scenic route through the country to go to the furniture store. The views are so pretty and the drive just made my heart smile! The sky on the way home was gorgeous…

I also spent some time in the kitchen this week. I’ve made several new recipes for supper, baked some bread, made more Rice Krispy Treats (for our small group) and also some Chicken broth in my crock pot. It feels good to be productive in the kitchen!

I pray that your winter days are being filled with blessings that you recognize as gifts from God’s hands. He’s the giver of them all.

P.S. I mentioned my radio recording – in case you don’t know, I do a daily broadcast on a local radio station. My church has all the recordings on their website. I linked it earlier and I’ll link it again, here, in case you’re interested. There’s a plethora of subjects from character traits to homemaking advice. Each broadcast is 15 minutes long. It is aired each week day on WHCB at 2:30 (recently changed) and on Saturday at 3:45. This is a ministry that the Lord placed in my lap, and I feel like the most unlikely person to be on the raido! There are days I wonder if anyone hears it, but I j ust know that I’m obeying the Lord in His direction in my life. So there you have it. If it can encourage you, than I’ll rejoice!

Tell me about one of your activities that helped you beat the winter blues!

Stay refreshed this winter,

Depression · Winter

One Necessary Ingredient for Winter Blues

 

 

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The boxes of ornaments are  stored away and only stray pieces of greenery hide in the corners of house and hearth, reminding us that the much anticipated season of Christmas has passed.  The excitement of the gatherings, the beauty, the fellowship, the food and the warm spirits can cause us to look into the winter months with dread and perhaps even depression. After all,

What is there to look forward to?

Cold and snow blow around the eves of the house, often mirroring the cold in our hearts at this time of year.

With vacation days moving towards us as quickly as a cat makes a decision, we sigh and wonder how on this earth we’re going to survive!

I’m writing this post today to give you some practical tips that can not only get you through the months of winter, but also enable you to do so with joy!

Continue reading “One Necessary Ingredient for Winter Blues”