Making it Through Winter


Winter by Brea Dargis

Photo of our local wetlands in winter by Brea Dargis

Reader Question:

I was wondering if you might write a little more about how to make it through the rest of winter?  I struggle every winter after the holidays.  It’s still dark and cold and all the christmas lights are down, family is gone, comfort foods are tempting.  I exercise regularly, strive to get sunlight daily, but don’t feel as though I have anything to look forward to until spring arrives.

My reply:

Winter has been harder for me than it used to be since my son was killed on a snowy February day. Some times we associate a season with a hard time, trauma or bad memories. I don’t know if that is what happens with you, but it helps to write things out, or use dance, art or music as a way of letting stuck emotions out.

I like to remember that each season has its own joys and comforts. I add them to my plans for the week or tuck them into the calendar.

  • Have a reading night, where there is no electronics and you cuddle in with blankets and a book.
  • Find an outdoor activity that can be fun in winter. Walks in the snow, snowball fights, building snow forts, skiing, snow-shoeing, ice skating.
  • Quiet nights by a fire. We don’t have a fireplace so make do with a space heater.
  • Good hot cocoa – even better if you make your own
  • A warm bath in the evening
  • Honey or cinnamon sugar toast
  • Citrus – tangerines, blood oranges, ruby red grapefruit
  • Lighting candles
  • Warming oil before massaging your shoulders or face
  • Puttering around the house making things more cozy
  • Get out at noon if possible when the sun is brighter
  • Get some flowers once in awhile, even cheap grocery store flowers can brighten things up
  • Winter is a wonderful time to burrow in – do some knitting, writing, or something else creative
  • Get extra sleep
  • Catching up on TV shows on DVD with the family
  • Put on some music and write real letters to people you love
  • Make snowflakes
  • Plan a valentine’s tea

What pleasures do you enjoy in winter? Can you plan for any this week?


  • Sandi P says:

    I will try some of these, they sound like they will work.
    I lost a baby on New Years Eve 30 years ago, and another one the following November. Now I realize why those seasons are difficult for me, even after all these years.

  • Rebecca Ladd says:

    Hi, I so sympathize with this problem. Winter is awful emotionally. My son died in January, so that ruins that month. February is just too dark. I make it through by creating new things and by organizing my house. Good Luke to all who wrestle with these months.

  • Rebecca Ladd says:

    Hi, I so sympathize with this problem. Winter is awful emotionally. My son died in January, so that ruins that month. February is just too dark. I make it through by creating new things and by organizing my house. Good Luck o all who wrestle with these months.

  • I find it sometimes helps to put my oil burner on,just a little inexpensive tea light under,with water and the oil which you like, I like lavender,rose or enrol,in t h e top . It is calming and peaceful. If you can, do away with net curtains as they cut down the daylight coming in. Baking helps also.

  • Misty Morgan says:

    You share some excellent advice and tips on your page. I was caregiver for my mom over 4 years in our home. She passed at 97 and a week after our tea cup poodle passed. I felt so sad and all alone and knew that day would be coming but I wasn’t thinking about it. While caring for my mom I started paper crafting and would make pretty cutouts and birds to put on her mirrors and walls. On weekends I would go to a few thrift shops and bring her back a surprise. After her passing, I shut her bedroom door and kept on crafting but it was hard because she wasn’t there to enjoy it I lost track of time crafting and missed alot of dinners because our little poodle would always bark for breakfast lunch and dinner. Then my sister came from Arizona and said, why don’t we move all your crafty things into moms mini suite and that’s when I realized I needed a New Focus.. It was a Big task but it was a healing process in disguise. I felt that mom was watching down on me with a smile. Today I have a few students that come over and enjoy crafting and love my large and very decorated room. Each day I keep busy with either a new card, 3d creation or something. I am so blessed to be able to share my talent with others. Yes, I do get sad days that I’m all alone, but I keep busy and that’s the key. We have a choice to be happy or sad and nobody can make that choice for us. and when we are ready, we will make that choice. I choose to make other people happy and in turn they make me happy. You can view some of my crafty creations on my blog Yes, the Winnie the pooh bear card was one of my moms favorites. Thanks for giving me the opportunity to share my story, I hope it brings you some joy and happiness.

  • Sarah says:

    Such a great post. The simplest ideas are usually the best. Personally I find keeping my diet clean and doing daily yoga really helps.

  • Lynette says:

    Yes, it is ORANGE SEASON!
    I buy 4″ pot of primroses for my kitchen table. $1.79 usd and they bloom for about 6 weeks!

  • Beth says:

    I love these Lynette!

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