Winter is a magical time of year, but it can also be a challenging one. The cold weather, snow, and ice can make it difficult to go about a daily routine.
However, the winter season is much more than weather. To thrive in this darker season, we must embrace the qualities of the season. Winter is a natural cycle and beautiful in its own way.
There is no summer without winter.
No light without darkness.
No happiness without sadness.
Below are several ways to embrace the winter months and perhaps help cope with changes to our mood and lack of motivation, especially when the world feels challenging.
Find The Light
Spending time outdoors is essential during the winter months. Even though the day may be grey, the sunlight still makes its way into our eyes to give us a natural mood boost as well as prepare us for our evening sleep. In addition to daylight, it may be helpful to inquire about the benefits of light therapy.
As mentioned above, daylight will help boost our mood and prepare us for sleep. But beyond the benefits of the light, winter can be beautiful. The crisp air, the beauty of ice and snow, and the starkness of the trees, the shimmering frost are beautiful. Dress for the weather and enjoy it!
Honour The Season
Winter is the earth's exhale. It’s a moment to let go and pause. It’s a time to explore our inner landscape and embrace the moments of darkness and quiet. We don’t need to fill every moment. Let the winter be a time to honour the exhale.
Try Something New
The winter is a lovely time to try something new. Explore a new hobby or take on a new project that intrigues you. Maybe it's a solitary practice such as journalling, early morning meditation, knitting or organizing your photo library. Or maybe, it's an opportunity to try a new sport. Pickle ball? Curling? Dance? Swimming Lessons?
There is no downfall with this winter pursuit and no quicker way to a mood booster. How can you help? What qualities and skills do you have that you could share? Helping out at a food bank, organizing a local food or gift drive, helping a senior grocery shop or tackling an online task? Helping someone with a drive to an appointment, teaching a child a musical instrument, how to bake or helping their parents with pick up or drop off at school. It's a guaranteed way to feel more connected to your community around you. Lend a hand!
Stay Active & Engaged
This is important during the winter months. Many people feel more isolated simply because of the impact of winter. But we can remain active and engaged despite the weather. If you can’t get out, meet up online. Join a community meditation group, yoga class, and book club. Connect at your local community centre or set up a weekly/ monthly call or coffee with a neighbour, close friend or family member.
Rest & Reflect
This is a beautiful quality of winter that can be missed. Take the cues from nature. As nature rests, so should we. Embrace the early evenings and find a quiet activity that feeds your soul. Wake up early, light a candle and journal or meditate before the sun rises. Practice Savasana, restorative yoga, and mindful movement.
The winter is beautiful but it can be hard on many. Please reach out when you feel yourself isolating beyond that which is healthy. Call a friend, your doctor or community helplines if you need extra support. Feeling alone and depressed is a common feeling and not something that we should hide or suppress. Many people would love to help.