10 Ways To Beat The Winter Blues

Let's face it: Groundhog's Day is a sham. I mean, is there any possible way that spring would come before the end of March in Michigan? So not happening. But if your will to make it through until the first gorgeous green buds break is fading, we've come up with a mini survival guide to make it a little bit easier.

Southwest Michigan Kids

There's not a stray bandaid in the world that would keep me out of this pool right now.

Stroll through a tropical garden. The observatory at the Frederik Meijer Gardens is as lush as it gets. It does the soul good to see a living flower in February. Get a rejuvenating dose of greenness there, or in a pinch you can head to the plant section of your nearest big box store :)

Have a staycation.

For a mini-getaway, check into a hotel for the night and take a swim (I almost wrote relaxing, but we all have kids so lets be real). The Inn at Harbor Shores in St Joseph is having a Family Movie Night next weekend and the pool area is great.

Take a hike in the snow.

Even haters will admit that Mother Nature is not the worst when freshly fallen snow glitters in the morning sun. Our favorite (and very short) hiking spot is the Casco Township Nature Preserve here in South Haven, but there are lots of beautiful trails to be traversed.

Plan a summer vacation.

Taking a summer road trip? Might as well start planning now. Look through photos, itineraries and maps to get into a summer state of mind. Three words to get you started: Mackinac Island fudge.

Head to an art museum

The colorful works of art will stimulate the senses, engage the brain and cheer the mood. There are plenty of notable exhibits around, you'll feel cultured, and the kids will get exposed to something cool. That's called winning.

Try something new.

For those of us who are not "winter people" -- who are those people? -- outdoor sports can be daunting. I went snowboarding once but spent the whole time sipping beer in the lodge. However, skiing, snowboarding, luging (?) and tobogganing are at our frozen fingertips.

Make a summer collage.

Maybe all we need is a summer inspiration board. If you've got old magazines laying around, have the kids rip out anything that reminds them of summer. Put it up next to the window for optimal juxtaposition.

Think warm weather.

This one's simple: turn up the heat for a couple hours, put on some shorts and make a batch of frozen drinks. If you can't move to Florida, this might be the next best thing. Call it a "mental health" night.

Count the days until spring.

Figure out how many days of winter are left and make a colorful paper chain. The kids will enjoy ripping off a ring every morning, and you'll be able to watch as warmer weather inches ever closer. Winter is long, but it can't last forever. Right? Right?

If all else fails, just stare at this pool picture until you hear the robins chirping. We got this.

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