Let’s face it, January and February for many homesteaders are the most depressing. In fact, if you are like me, you’re probably ready for spring after the first big snow hits. We homesteaders like to be outside, enjoying what the good Lord gave us. We like to feel the soil between our fingers and the smell of that first spring rain. The first glimpse of tiny buds on the trees gets us giddy with excitement! Oh, the wonder of spring… It’s truly magical!
But these cold months can be pretty dreary, pretty darn ugly at times and just down right sad! What can we do to help pass the time without ending up in a straightjacket or howling at the moon?
I have some ideas for you that I have done and approve, and I’m no longer howling at the moon or scratching at the walls…
1. Read and study new garden catalogs. This is something I do every January. I look forward to seeing what’s new and I also dream about what new plants or seeds I can try. I have a notebook where I jot down seeds and prices from the different companies. I’m telling ya, this uplifts the mood tremendously! It really makes my heart happy, no joke. Because I purposefully wait until January, I am able to focus more and it really gives me something to look forward to. My daughter loves to look at the flower varieties and dream about her flower garden. Who knew that January could be so exciting!
2. Once I have all my price comparisons done, I then start to plan my garden. I don’t plow through the gardening catalogs in one day when I price compare, and I definitely don’t plow through the garden planning either. I like to take my time. It usually takes me a few days to a week to get each one done. You just don’t want to rush a good thing, ya know? When I plan my garden, I like to visualize myself standing there in that freshly dug soil. They say that gardening is therapeutic, and I’d say that just thinking about it is therapeutic to some degree too!
3. Another good way to shake the blues is to take a look at your previous year on the homestead and review it. Did you try something new? Purchase an animal? Rearrange the barn? Write about whether it worked out for you or not, what you learned, what you would have changed, etc. It is important to keep our minds busy during the long winter months, and this is a good way to tap into our brains and make us think a little harder.
4. Now that you have your year in review written down, it’s a good time to start writing down your homesteading goals for the new year. I love to brainstorm and this is so much fun! Who cares if it’s in the negatives outside, I’ve got a notebook and my dreams for the homestead. I’m good!
5. If you want to take it a step farther, you can incorporate your finance goals as well and get them down on paper. Focus on what you can pay off and go from there. Although this might get you depressed, once you have a plan to pay off debt, even if it is a small bill, you will feel better, I promise!
6. Let’s get back to gardening! Go online and order those seeds. I usually wait until around the end of February to do this, but anytime will do. And when you see the ‘box’ man pull up in your driveway, it’s like Christmas all over again!
7. You might not like this next one, but it will keep you busy and once you are done, you will be on cloud nine! Declutter a room every week or rearrange one(or your barn). Yes, every week, not everyday! We usually tackle a big project like this every winter break. In the past, we added a new goat pen in the barn, decluttered the barn, changed our utility room into a sunroom, and rearranged our bedroom. When I say rearranged, it really means declutter and rearrange. That’s the beauty of rearranging! You have to declutter it all too. This year, we have decluttered every single room in the house. It took some time, but boy does it feel good! I have a non-working car jam-packed with bags of giveaway stuff. I take a little bit at a time to the Salvation Army or Goodwill.
8. If you have done all of this and are still bored or climbing the walls, maybe it’s time to open up that entrepreneurial brain of yours? I love to sit down and brainstorm possibilities here on the farm. There are so many! It’s also a good time to talk with the kids and see if they have any money-making ideas they’d like to try.
9. Did you know that there are essential oils that can uplift your mood? For real! Try these out in your diffuser or simply open the bottle and inhale if you don’t have one.
We get these off seasons for a reason, and I firmly believe they help us to refocus on what matters and get our brains thinking about things we don’t have time to think about during the warmer seasons.
So, take off that straight jacket, quit your howlin’ and get busy!
If you’d like to learn more about essential oils go HERE.
If you are ready to join the many homesteaders who have not only taken charge of their healthcare, but the health of their beloved farm animals too, go HERE.