Thursday, August 2, 2012

beating dreary

I was not highly motivated to write this morning. I really have no pictures to share. I have nothing very interesting to write about.

Life has not been particularly easy lately. There are work transitions to deal with, paperwork, visitors, school functions, a (very) clingy toddler and the usual effort to just keep up with everything. Some days I've just wanted to bury my head in the covers. It all seems too hard at times. But such is life and while I would like to indulge in some sorry for myself time, I just can't. There are nappies to change, kids to take to school, and meals to cook.

Some people might point their finger at the weather. The grey, dreary vitamin d deficient feeling at the height of Winter. Perhaps there is some truth in that.

But there are a few little things I've found to keep the dreary feelings at bay. A strong cup of coffee at any time of the day (but particularly first thing with breakfast and a late evening just-before-preparing dinner one) does a lot to lift spirits and provide a little break in between. All the better if I can escape for a few minutes into blogland and catch up on a little reading.

Last week I started exercising. A long time ago I used to walk every single day. But that went by the wayside some time ago. So I pop some music on and have a little dance with Violet. That half hour is a great little mood lifter. And Violet is quite the little dancer.

And though I don't always feel like it, I've kept on knitting and sewing. Before I know it, I actually start to enjoy myself as I become immersed into the project. Late last night I picked up my knitting while the house was silent, put on a Nigel Slater and then Nigella's Kitchen episode, and knitted to my hearts content. It was most therapeutic. Even if I find seed stitch just a little tiresome.

Do you ever feel affected by the weather? What do you do to keep those feeling away?


  1. I don't mind winter - it is nice and quiet and snoozy...and I am a bit of a crafting person so I enjoy the kind of weather than encourages indoor industriousness :)
    Sometimes I think it is just not getting a break (I so hear you on this one - especially the part about just wanting to stay in bed).
    I find that if I have a blurgh day I often compromise with myself and get a few essentials done (in my PJs) say no to everything else and just curl up for the day. Kids are surprisingly eager to do this too - they enjoy reading and have little picnics inside....doing little in-home spas with you. So I guess (to shorten that length explanation) my approach is to ask myself what I really want to do - then do a slightly adapted version that includes something similar or nearby that the kids can do too. When I first got home from the hospital with number two I wasn't up to running the house so my first little one and I played hospitals for a couple of days :)

  2. Hi Tania,
    I feel for you, you're not alone.
    Having to do the same things day after day after day can get you down, lack of sleep or a grey day don't really improve that.
    Music helps for me too, dancing in the kitchen with the kids, going for a walk even if it's only a short one can be an enormous mood lifter. I find that having my own things (sewing, yoga, cooking, reading) keeps me sane, however hard it can be with little kids in the house. You don't get as much done as would might like, but it's something to give a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.
    The sun is out and it's starting to warm up a bit, I might take that walk now, I'm feeling a little gloomy myself after a very broken night. I might even ignore the long list of cleaning jobs this morning and do some more sewing. Hang in there!
    Cheers, Marijke

  3. Hi Tania,

    I understand... the dreary day-to-day chores which give no satisfaction (because they will be repeated soon enough) can get you down. Take a camera out and go for a walk, look for the most interesting or pretty portions of your environment. Focus on these. Write a gratitude list and keep going back to it.
    These suggestions can sound lame, but you will find that they can help shift your focus. I don't for a moment suggest that they will lift your spirits or change anything, but if you look beyond your immediate surrounds, and if you actively search for beauty, you can change your focus and notice so much more than the dreary day-to-day boredom.

    Hang in there. x

  4. Hi Tania, I'm definitely having a dreary time of my own at the moment, so I thought I'd send you a note. It's definitely not the weather with me; I love winter here with its blue skies and warm (not burn-your-skin scorching) sunshine. Too much grey would get to me too – that's why I got the heck out of the UK! For me, it's missing my family, and seeing familiar faces. Anyway, what I've been doing to lift my spirits is taking the dog for a walk along the beach. I sit on a rock and stare. Not saying it makes it all better, but there's lots of room to breathe there. I get lots of cookery books out of the library. This week I have Tessa Kiros' Apples for Jam. Watching Nigel and Nigella helps too, of course. And I've just booked myself on a little food photography course, so something to look forward to amidst all the bedlam works wonders...

  5. I can totally relate to this today! Rain rain go away...
    I'm fighting it with a quick break of knitting, hot lemon drinks and indulging in some crappy tv while my girl naps xo

  6. Oh yes, especially when it comes with sick poppets. I also entirely relate to the Nigel and Nigella ep - I find favorite cooking shows so relaxing, completely vicarious and comforting almost as if I was sitting in the kitchen watching my Mum make dinner. : )

    ps. Thanks for your visit and your lovely comment. So lovely to visit your gorgeous blog too.

  7. That preparing and before dinner coffee happens here makes me just sit/stand for a few moments and take a breather....the sun is shining today, so I have opened the house totally....put the hermit crabs in to bask in some sunshine, little one is painting in the warm light that is streaming in through the window...sunshine does make your mood lift...oh, and so does some essential oils wafting through the house, I put some lavender/orange combo on for a wintery day and it lifts my spirits...we all do what we can...some days all I can manage is dinner on the table at night, and nothing else through the day...and that just have to be enough..x

  8. Oh yes. I'm nodding along.

    I've taken up an afternoon walk again. It has only been a week, but I am feeling so much better for it. By 4pm the sun here has started going down and I have a toddler beside me and a baby in the pram and we are off walking and exploring. It might just be for 20 minutes, but it puts us all in a better mood and we come home ready to do baths, make dinner and relax.

    Tea and knitting are my other saviors of course. And if you haven't already, you must listen to this podcast. It is bound to make you laugh and feel good about your knitting. It will even make seed stitch more interesting. :)

  9. Oh Tania! Seasonal Affective Disorder aka SAD! It's a diagnosable condition i hear! When the grayness of winter is just too much that we become gloomy, sad, unmotivated and even depressed! We were overseas in Europe at this time last year, so we haven't had a long proper winter for 2 years and it's a big adjustment I think. We are so over all this melbourne gloominess that like you it's hard to maintain a positive vibe. I love the benefit of exercise and try to do something is also lovely. we don't do tv until the kids go to bed, so we all listen to lovely relaxing music during the day and after dinner and as for crafting I try and pick a good winter project to sink my teeth into. I too survive on strong coffee, comfy slippers, copious amounts of lady grey tea (when i;m not drinking coffee) and even trying to get creative with wintery meals...roasts, slow cooked meat, soups with croutons and hot chocolate afterwards. Some days its just about surviving the day...other days you'll feel really part of it and in control of it, but either way find comfort in what you can and the rest will follow! lovely post as always and wishing you sunshine on your wintery days xx

  10. I totally understand where you are coming from Tania, it is so hard sometimes to keep going with mundane chores. This morning when I was doing my third drop off I was close to tears from exhaustion & the madness of getting kids to school/kindy and with a baby in tow & my mind going crazy with the list on my to do list for the day. I find exercise a huge help for me mentally, physically & emotionally. Also sewing is my other outlet to do something I enjoy, I find it very therapeutic. Keep your chin up & know your fellow bloggers are always here to listen!:)

  11. you know i get this post.
    i don't know what i would have done if we hadn't been able to ditch the winter gloom this year.


  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  13. I feel your sentiments, I know where your coming from. I think at the moment if I didn't have the hours where I escape to a balance class and my cardio classes I think I'd be so run down. I have let lots of things slip like sewing and drawing, these things are calling to me and I feel bad not doing them it's just that the time isn't right at the moment.
    I don't think there there is a job harder than that of motherhood, it's ok to complain and whinge we all need to sometime.

  14. Anonymous maybe you can cover you eyes because I too am going to moan as we have every right to. It doesn't mean we are selfish it means we are honest in the sharing of our lives. I'm sure you have days you feel blah too when you are not feeling the need to be nasty.

    Tania I too have days that it all feels too hard. It's not the weather for me; it's the everyday sameness and feeling of not getting ahead. Dishes again every day. More laundry to do. Keeping up at work with the incoming emails - I delete 1 and there are 3 more new ones. The over busyness. I feel bone tired I could just sleep for days but my daughter is super active and when I ask her if she could be silent for 1 minute she doesn't last. Thank goodness I love her to pieces, because she keeps me busy but motivated too.

  15. Ahhh Tania..i am right there with you! I actually used to love Winter because it meant i could bake to my hearts content on dreary days or curl up and read a good book just because i wanted to after the stresses of the week....but then along came the twins and now i dread the cold days when we are stuck i understand what you are saying in so many ways i won't list them all...and perhaps depress you more hehe!
    What a great idea to dance with Violet...i am trying to get out and walk with the girls as i miss exercise and sometimes it is nice to 'see' that outside world...even if a little dreary!
    Something i have made my mantra might help you on those particulalry tough days...'This too shall pass' Reminds me that we are going through but a stage in our life and there will be something different around the corner. I follow it up with a strong cup of tea!
    Hang in there and know you are not alone...and cherish that peaceful time at night...i find it can be a real lifesaver to get that time to yourself even if it means you are up late!
    Anon...sometimes it can be easy to judge others and complain that they are whingeing about their lot in life...what is harder is to accept that everyone has rough moments in their life no matter what the circumstances and it can help to unload with friends in what is usually a safe space. No matter what our feelings and circumstances, we all deserve empathy and compassion at some stage in our life.
    Hugs Tania x

  16. Dear Tania,
    I truly understand how you are feeling. July has been my SADS month, too. But later in August spring with its soft sunshine and daffodils and wattle flowers will scuttle the grey and give us all more energy. A little pampering of one's spirit helps too - reading a favourite book, a walk on a gentle day, happy music turned up LOUD, a small piece of excellent chocolate savoured slowly, planning your summer's garden. Sending hugs, from a fellow sufferer.

  17. Sometimes those feelings, for me, don't go away very fast. So, while I wait, I drink a lot of hot tea, try to journal my feelings honestly, read my Bible and write down favorite verses and inspirational quotes. I love to turn on some music. Take vitamins. I avoid the news at all costs! :)

  18. Know exactly how you feel. I usually sit in the sun-when out, or go out and watch the chooks. They always cheer me up.

  19. Just in the past few weeks, I have bought a Brazilian Dance workout DVD and have started dancing to the beat of Brazilian drums for an hour each day.
    Dancing can be quite a mood lifter!

  20. I'm finding this winter harder to deal with than I have for a while -- it's veeery hard to get myself out of bed in the morning, I get cranky with people, situations and myself more than I normally would, and I find it very hard to be motivated for anything.

    I think it's partly because this is the first winter I've had a full-time job that keeps me indoors all day. I miss most of the daylight and have little time to spend in my garden -- which is a pastime that goes a long way to keeping me sane.

    I know the days are getting longer, and I can't wait for the days when I get home from work and it's still light outside. Hanging out for those times.

    Until then, its lots of staying snug, and knitting and hot chocolates and remembering that it's okay to take it easy if that's all I want to do.

    Hope you're feeling less dreary.

  21. The weather has definitely been affecting my mood and enthusiasm for things lately too and on days when Sophie is whingey and clingy due to teething, it makes it all the harder. As much as I love winter (hots cuppas, curling up in front of the heater, warm meals etc), I'm looking forward to spring and the change of mood I'm hoping it will bring about in me. I go through ups anddowns with blogging depending on how things are going in our life at that time - I often feel unmotivated to post when I haven't had the time to take any photos and therefore feel like I don't have any post worthy content :)

  22. I have felt like that all week! Cooking, washing and cleaning has all taken it's toll on me these past few weeks. I love to do those things for my family especially cook but I have had no time for any creative outlet. I live in a cold climate similar to yours and I definitely suffer from a bit of Seasonal Affective Disorder some years worse than others.


Thank you for leaving a comment. If you have any questions please check back later as I will do my best to answer any within the comments section.