Winter Blues

I am in a major slump right now. I just feel crappy.  I feel like everything sucks.

In reality, I know it doesn’t. Life is good and I am blessed.

But lately, I’ve been depressed, totally un-motivated, tired and grumpy.

I think it has to do with several things, and writing this all down is good for me to realize what is off in my life, what things I have control over and what I can do to change them.

For one, I haven’t been exercising much. I just realized that today, and I know that has got to be a huge reason for my attitude and mood. That was a good reminder for me. Exercise makes me feel so much better, gives me more patience, more energy… why aren’t I exercising?! I need to get back into it. {Update: This morning I did a 30 minute kettle ball workout while the boys played and ran around in the gym. My mood increased a thousand times and our day went so much better. It’s amazing how something as simple as getting a little exercise makes me feel like a new person.}

Secondly, I haven’t been outside much. I really need fresh air and since it’s been so cold the past couple weeks, we haven’t been out much. If the kids and I go out we only last about 20-30 minutes.  I think I might try to go either in the morning or at night with my dog. He needs the exercise too, and that would be good for me to get out for a walk. My only issue is that it’s dark, but I think if I had my dog with me and had on wearing reflective clothing I would be okay.

I don’t mean for this post to be such a downer. I am just rambling here some things that are going on in my life, sorry if I’m complaining a lot.

I miss my family a lot. Everyone is so far away and everyone is in different states and cities. It’s hard around Holidays, especially when what used to be crazy busy days of going to three different Thanksgiving dinners and playing games and watching movies, is now just different. My husband said it is our new normal and we need to make new traditions for our children. I know he’s right, but I still miss all our family. Only seeing your parents a couple times a year is not nice.

I hate cooking, I’m bad at it, my kids don’t eat it and it’s expensive. Let me just give you one example, which happened to be last night. So I am right on track for winning best wife and mother award with dinner cooking in the crock pot as I had off to work (another issue why I’m depressed right now) and I realize that I had it on high instead of low. I think it would have been great if I didn’t freaking burn it. Who knew you could burn something in the crock pot? I thought that thing was idiot proof! Dinner was lasagna, so we are talking ingredients of : mozzarella cheese, cottage cheese, tomato paste, ground beef and lasagna noodles. ( I got the recipe from here for all you over achievers who can figure this out)

Let’s just do some simple calculation of how much this meal cost me:
 – Lasagna noodels : already had in my cupboard so I don’t count the price
– Ground beef : It was moose meat that we got from some friends so free to us (blessings, blessings)

Do you see how I was such a good person and planned this meal around what I already had in my cupboard? FAIL.

– Cottage Cheese: $4 something I accidentally bought the organic kind otherwise I would have saved $1
– Mozzarella cheese: Do you know how expensive this stuff is?? Absurd!! Like another $5 or something.
– Tomato Paste: $3 (ish)

Forget it. I’m just pissed that I basically threw away an entire container of cottage cheese. I will move on.

What else?

Other reasons for tiredness, grumpiness and frustrations may be that parenting right now is really hard. I have felt like a failure as a parent and sometimes I just feel like sitting in the corner because I don’t know what to do. Today I hit my elbow on the door. It hurt pretty bad and I started crying. I took back the tears because I was in a hurry trying to get my kids down for nap, and I thought to myself that I could finish crying after they are sleeping. You know how sometimes a good cry makes you feel so much better?? Well gosh darnnit, I didn’t have to cry anymore. Oh well.

Now, what can I do to make things better? What do I have control over?

I’ve talked to a couple people and they suggested taking Vitamin D, so I’m going to look into that. It’s really important for people who live in Alaska.

Exercise. I absolutely must start exercising regularly again. 
The cooking thing…. my best idea is to hire a chef. If you can hire house keepers, why can’t you hire chef’s? I should check Craigslist for that.. 
Get outside more. Make more of an effort to get outside with my children every day, even if it is only for 20 minutes. 

SO thankful for these two sweet boys who are the only things that make me get up in the morning some days. SO thankful they love me even on my worst days and they forgive me even when I yell. SO thankful they think I am beautiful even on days when I don’t brush my hair or get out of my pajamas. SO thankful they think I am the best mom ever even on day(s x 5) when I burn dinner or don’t clean the floor or put them in sweat pants as pajamas because I didn’t wash their laundry. SO thankful they teach me about life and how to live and love better. 

Published by Samantha Mellen

Certified personal trainer & health coach helping women transform their lives through fitness, abundant mindset coaching and internal peace. Mom of two boys, living life in Alaska.

12 thoughts on “Winter Blues

  1. sounds like you just had a bad day. kids are finicky. stick with what they like and require them to taste what you offer that's new.

    why is tomato paste $3? good grief it's like $0.37 cents for a 6 ounce can here. why not leave the major things like lasagna for weekends when you could get help or take longer and do simple easy to eat things on weekdays? hamburgers with some kind of 'fry' whether it be sweet potato or whatever, plus carrot sticks or something like that and then offer up fruit as incentive? my kid doesn't do really well with casseroles all the time or soup either, except chili. so I try and pick and choose from different food groups things that she'll eat to the base components (diced chicken, strips of veggies with dip, half an apple with seeds removed, etc). Even if she's taking in extra calories from ketchup, ranch dressing, caramel sauce for the apple, etc. it's not as bad as cooking another whole meal or resorting to chicken nuggets all the time (for me anyway, no judgement on the nuggets if you use them, I swear!) and I go for a 'weekly' balance, so if she eats a lot of veggies one day, none the next, and a lot of fruit another day, I figure it evens out! Sounds like you need a major nap one of these days. hang in there and don't struggle so much for 'super cook' as to 'simple cook'. it's easier, they'll eat it if they really are hungry, and saves $ too.

  2. I've had the winter blues also. Being a stay at home mom is a hard and lonely job.
    I have the same issues with my little guy eating. If he could eat grill cheese or mac and cheese everyday he would love it.
    I'm praying it gets better for you!

  3. Well it's been “just a bad day” for the last 2 weeks.

    I actually thought the crock pot lasagna was really simple! All I did was put a few ingredients in the crock pot (after cooking the beef) and turn it on. I just pushed the wrong button. 🙂 And I had to buy 2 cans of tomato paste, I think they were like $1.30 or something each? And I rounded up cause i always do that with money 🙂

  4. I hear you and I totally sympathize!! This month has been brutal for weather up here. SUPER cold, lots of snow. My husband has to keep taking my car because it won't stop snowing long enough for the roads to clear out so he can get his to the tire place for studded tires. So the girls and I are stuck at home a lot. I'm glad it's finally warming up some, my youngest HATES being cold so recently she's cried within minutes of being outside so it's not fun for any of us to go play because she gets so miserable. I've also had no desire to cook much of anything lately so we've been eating out too much which always makes me feel gross. I definitely need to try and get out for walks or something with the warmer weather (30s is going to feel great after all these single digits I hope!) coming in. Oh and I hear you on food cost. Cheese is crazy! My girls LOVE it too so I'm always looking for good deals. Also ditto the Vitamin D. I need to take more on top of whatever I get in my Prenatal. That I keep forgetting to take thanks to stupid morning sickness. Here's to a warmer, and better December 🙂

  5. I call it 'the settled blues'- when things have settled down after a big change like having another child or moving. It usually takes about a year, sometimes 18 months. The best way to fix it is to get out of your routine. Have you considered volunteering? I know it takes time away from your family but I've found that one night away really recharges me and I come back a better mom and wife. Exercise, vitamin D, fresh air and healthy eating all help too of course.

    Moose meat doesn't have the fat in it like ground beef so that may have been part of the reason it burned. Do you have anything like Dashing Dishes ( near you? I've tried a number of the recipes from here and they've turned out great: Sometimes the simplest dinners are the ones kids like- If you want some ideas feel free to email me.

  6. Samantha,
    I could have written this post 3 weeks ago to the T except I have 2 girls and not 2 boys. I felt horrible! I hadn't worked out in weeks and got in a really crappy funk. I started training for a half and eventually a full, and I am feeling a million times better. I am just running 3 times a week. I am not a good cook either, but I am trying. It seems like when I don't work out I get low energy and then just looking at everything in the house that needs to get done is overwhelming. I hope you get into a good routine again and start feeling better. You are very blessed!

  7. My second winter in Alaska (last year) I fell apart right about this time. It was dark, cold, and I was just a mess! The things that really helped me– Vitamin D and spending as much time outside as possible. Brett and I made it a priority to get outside at least 4 evenings a weekn(cross country skiing was a lifesaver!) and I started taking walks during my lunch break. I'm in ANC for a few days. Maybe we can get together and do a walk or something? Or, if you want, I can come over help with/make dinner? Just let me know. 🙂

  8. You have two young kids, a long winter is starting, mistakes happen, and it is hard being apart from your husband while you both work to make ends meet. Of course you are going to feel low for a bit! It won't last forever, and you know some tools for boosting yourself back up. Although you can't be a perfect mom all the time I am positive you are a great mom most of the time. Thanks for sharing such an honest post, once again. It makes me feel more normal to hear about other people's hard days/weeks. We all have them and things will get better! Hugs and prayers your way.

  9. Just a quick tip on the cooking thing. I looooove my programable crock pot. I can set it to cook on high for 4 or 6 hours, or low for 8 or 10. When it reaches the end of that time, it kicks over to warm, where it will stay indefinitely.

    I have a couple of regular crock pots in various sizes, but I am so spoiled to being able program it, I never use the others.

    The only thing that would make me love it more is if I could choose various times and if I could set it to do a couple on high, then do some on low for awhile.

    Mine is a couple of years old, hmmm, I wonder what the newer ones can do…

  10. I read this last week and forgot to comment. Oops! Shows you the kind of week I was having!
    I can totally relate to how you feel. Unfortunately, I live in the Sunshine State and have no excuse for the winter blues. Yet, I find myself feeling down sometimes. The only thing that has helped is prayer. Lots and lots of prayer. And seeing my son and counting all the blessings around me, even when it's difficult. Hope you feel better soon.

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