Dreading Winter? Say Goodbye to Summer and Make This Your Season of Renewal
“There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart.” ~ Celia Thaxter
While I’ve enjoyed summer immensely (my trip to Italy was fantastic!), I’m eager to welcome the beauty of fall colors and yummy foods. It’s a life-renewing break from the intense heat of summer and the smoke-filled air. Also I have some boots and sweaters I can hardly wait to wear again. They’re so comfy!
But I have to admit there’s a down side for me too. If I’m not careful, I find myself dreading winter because the dark, rainy weather can really get to me. I have to be mindful of the cues and deliberately take action to ease the impact and effects of this change of season.
Are you affected by the changing seasons, too? Does SAD (seasonal affective disorder) have you in its grips? It’s very common in the Pacific Northwest. So, here are some suggestions to help you stop dreading winter and turn the coming season into your special time of renewal and productivity.
Here are 8 tips to help replace “dreading winter” with a routine that restores your strength and rekindles your joy:
Ramp-up your nutrition. Summer brings local fresh produce, but it also brings a hectic schedule. So, if you’ve been eating on the fly, slow down and start eating more mindfully. Sometimes we need additional help from a doctor. For example, you may need to increase your Vitamin D and Serotonin levels to offset the sadness, sluggishness, and lethargy that come from a lack of sunlight.
Take a break from all things digital. People get so busy with social media, texting, talking on the phone, watching Netflix or surfing the web they forget to interact with the people sitting in the same room! Regularly turn your devices off and have a conversation, play a game, or plan a fun activity. Do things that build love instead of walls.
Force yourself to slow down. Go for walks. Read a book. Do that thing you’re always saying you’ll get around to later. Actively look for the beauty around you.
Exercise regularly. get tough with yourself (It might be helpful to improve your discipline) and introduce more movement in your schedule. Consciously look for ways to do more fun things, walk more, climb more steps and sit less. Exercise lowers your stress level and increases serotonin (the happy chemical in your brain).
Manage your ideals and keep your expectations realistically. The holiday season is coming and often there are unrealistic demands on your time, emotions, energy, and budget. Say “yes” when you can, but feel comfortable with saying “no” when you can’t. Learn acceptance. If a relative always acts out, expect it and think of ways to keep your buttons from being pushed. If things get uncomfortable, go for a drive and adjust your attitude.
Unload the clutter and get organized. Gift giving is a big part of celebrations, but the best gifts are good memories and acts of love. Too much stuff causes stress. Why not get your family and friends involved in giving time to someone in need instead?
Use winter to be more introspective. Work at becoming more observant and parsimonious with your energy. Don’t think you have to be the “be everything, do everything” person. Let yourself think. (My 7-Point Body Wellness Assessment is a great place to start!) Some things to reflect on:
- What allows me to be most resourceful during the cold weather?
- How can I make up for the harsh cold and lack of light?
- What kind of daily practices or routines could be supportive?
Get excited. Get the most from each day you live. Take a class. Make a new friend. Rekindle a neglected friendship. Begin a new project. This really keeps the winter blues at bay.
I understand what the changing season can do to a person. If you’re determined to stop dreading winter and actually embrace this time for personal and/or business development, please contact me and schedule an “Unlocking Your Potential” 30-minute complimentary consultation (in-person, by phone or via Skype).