GIF by Kim Salt
Winter’s celebrated for many reasons, although the season brings about a wide range of emotions. It’s important to keep this in conversation, if only to recognize that it’s not continuously joyous for all.
Personally, I’ve been navigating winter through darker terrain for the last few years, where the sun comes out once per week at best. I feel particularly focused on how to combat the seasonally sad side of things since I grew up in a sunny part of the world and know what it's like without it. I’ve begun collecting ways to make it all just feel lighter, and am happy to share those findings with you.
Start a new practice or continue to stay active in a way that fits your lifestyle and interests.
If you’ve noticed the lack of blue skies affecting your interactions, motivation, or general way you navigate daily life, it’s truly a quick fix that has the potential for longer lasting, good mood experiences.
Learn something new. This could be something to keep your hands busy or something practical. You could begin or brush up on another language. Again, choose whatever fits into your life now. The practice of learning something new inherently holds a level of excitement and the possibility to see things differently.
Get involved with your community. Try your best to stay up to date with friends and family, especially those who bring you tons of good energy. It might seem easier at times to hibernate and wait until this is all over, but we all know how much slower things move when we go that way. Navigate this intentionally, whether it’s through the digital or physical world and as safely as possible through our current pandemic state.
Immerse yourself in nature, however possible. If you’re completely surrounded by it, great. Make it a priority to connect a bit deeper. If you feel stuck between walls of glass and cement, find a botanical garden, a park, even a shop full of plant life just to take in the feeling momentarily.
Run a quick check through how you’ve been nourishing yourself lately. Are you enjoying your food? Have you been getting the nutrients you know that feeds your body and mind in a way that feels good? We’re in no space to judge or suggest particular foods, but these questions are super important to think about how your food is affecting your emotional, mental and physical state.
There are definitely big themes that run throughout the seemingly magical potion of makin’ it through the winter. Movement and community - including a connection with the world around you are the main ingredients of the potion. Even if you’ve tried this before and it hasn’t seemed to work well enough, stay optimistic. There are so many ways to do this, and perhaps this is the year you’ll find what works for you.