Oh winter season, how complicated my relationship with thee. The beauty and majesty of the snowy scenes (if you believe the propaganda of one Dee Walkden) and the warmth of fires and family gatherings really make the season both merry and comforting.
But I present to you, fair reader, the argument that in fact these things are good because they are offset by all of the stress and anxiety that come with this dark and wet season!
Yeah – what about driving to the relatives house? What about it being dark by 430? Where’s your precious vitamin D now? What about all the stressed out people that would rather drag you down to their level than lift up to yours? How do we cope on these dark days?
Well I have some thoughts. And no, it’s not booze. (This is not a teatotalling post – you can enjoy a drink when appropriate – as long as it’s not a ‘solution’.*)
So how do we go about approaching this long season without gouging out our eyes (or someone else’s?)
Let’s have a look at some small ways that you may want to try to help you shift the experience during the winter months.
- A daily positive affirmation / mantra meditation in the morning. It’s cheezy, but it’s not asking you to sign up for a new religion or deity. It’s about setting an intention for the day. Don’t make it super specific – just a good general intention for the day. “I will find joy today.” “I am grateful for my friends.” “I am getting better every day.” “I am powerful.” Repeat this for a couple of minutes when you wake up – but be present with the statements, and believe them. You are well worth every positive affirmation that I have written as example above, plus oooodles more.
- Give yourself extra time to drive, or let go of your timing on arrival. As hard as that is to most of us that grew up in the go-go-go culture of having to be ‘on time’ for things, it’s time to learn from so many cultures that take that easier approach to timing. You may be late for dinner, but you won’t be showing up with a BP of 200/200.
- Stay physical! Wait… Let me reword that. Keep up with your physical activity. I know that sounds a bit leading coming from this source, but by now there have been a bunch of articles (headlines? posts?) that you’ve likely seen that suggest this. And we believe that these sentiments are correct. Working out regularly releases endorphins (feel good hormones), helps to move fluids around the body and clear metabolic waste. Also there’s a really cool thing that happens when you take a walk or do some sort of activity like snowshoeing or hiking that involves a steady effort produces a form of autoregulation that can work to reprogram your brain in the moment. So yeah – go for a walk to clear your head!
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What are some ways that you destress during the holidays? Which one on this list has worked the best for you? Let a coach know and we can dig into the weeds of these things a bit more!
*solution in the non-scientific definition because YES, many drinks are solutions. I get it. Very haha.