Inexpensive ways to cool your cabin fever

Your life

It’s here girls, that string of inclement months that will test the mightiest of Midwest mamas. We’ll struggle to maintain some style under the puffiest of parkas while reminding ourselves to"enjoy this precious time” trapped in the house with our kids.

There might not be a cure for cabin fever, but here are some ways to help reduce its effects.

1. Treat yourself. Don’t wait until the first snowfall to get your feel-good affairs in order. Make a list of stuff you find decadent (dark chocolate, fuzzy slippers, a yummy candle?). Hit a drugstore, gather some goodies and tuck them away. Pull one out at the first sign of cabin fever.

2. Put on your gamer face. Instead of being the human timer who always tells the kids when their fun is up, grab a controller, jump in and shout"Game On!” You’ll be amazed at what they can teach you and they’ll think you hung the moon. Plus it’s super fun.

3. Channel Picasso. Little ones love the sensation of finger paints on shiny paper for a reason. It feels good, is blissfully creative and just makes them happy. Borrow your kids’ colorful paints, brushes and paper, throw on a smock and let the colors brighten your mood.

4."Blow the stink off.” This charming phrase is my husband’s way of saying we all need to get outside. When it’s 6:30 p.m. and the natives are restless, bundle them up and take a brisk walk to the coffee shop, library or around the block. It’s remarkable what a bit of fresh air can do.

5. Plant a garden. Bring some chlorophyll and oxygen into your home by creating a house plant garden. You’ll need a card table, bench or shelf and some festive house plants. Your grocery store is a great place to find small, inexpensive varieties. Your kids can help tend and talk to the plants and you’ll love the way they make you feel.

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