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?