“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” ~ Albert Camus
I have always hated winter.
It’s not just the icy temperatures—it’s the grey, dark, wet conditions which seem to go on forever.
Just putting the trash our requires a coat, scarf, hat and gloves. Really? What’s that all about?
To add insult to injury, no one around me ever seems to be quite so affected by the lack of sunshine and daylight in their lives. They just kind of roll with the seasons as they come.
With the certain amount of grumpiness that I feel settling in when winter comes, I came too the conclusion that I suffered from Seasonal Affected Disorder ( S.A.D.)—a type of depression that’s related to the change in seasons.
Perhaps I do, but bizarrely enough, I had a change of heart this weekend.
I discovered the joy of winter just by walking through the woods.
Seriously, it was as simple as that. I literally stopped and listened to the forest. I was really quite surprised at how much was alive—from the vines growing on the trees, to the little insects buzzing around and the birds that hadn’t flown south chirping away at each other.
I started to listen to the heartbeat of the forest, and it was strong—even in the middle of the winter.
So I thought to myself, if nature gets it right and takes that time for herself, why am I not mimicking her? Why am I fighting the winter? Why not just embrace it for what it is and perhaps even learn something from it?
So this year I have decided to use winter as nature uses winter.
That means it is now a time to nourish myself—in all senses of the word—so that the ground is fertile for all the good things I am going to plant in the spring. And all of a sudden winter doesn’t seem quite long enough!
So I put together a list of things that I am going to do to make sure I am taking full advantage of the winter months. Will you join me?
Stay at home and not feel guilty. As an introvert I have often felt guilty about spending an entire weekend at home while others rush around being busy. But I am going to listen to myself from now on and if I feel like being at home, I will. Gone is the guilt.
Plan. If you are anything like me, you also spend most of your time making things up as you go along. That’s exciting, but I also realize that I end up sometimes missing out on things or spending so much more money because I left booking a holiday to the last minute. So I am going to take the time and really think about my plans for the rest of the year to come.
Cocoon with my ideas, my loved ones and with a cup of hot cocoa. Time seems to slow down over the winter so instead of feeling resentful that it’s dark and cold outside, I’ve decided to do things that will make me happy indoors. So if that is yoga, taking a long bath, snuggling up to watch a movie or taking an hour to drink my hot cocoa—I’m going to do it. Simply because it will give me great joy.
Look after my body. Like most women I know, I have a bathroom shelf full of stuff—from oils and creams in funny shaped bottles to various yummy smelling soaps and gifts friends have given me over the years. I always plan to use them but never do. I am now going to take time to prepare my body for the spring—using all those natural oils and products and allowing them to sink deliciously and sensually into my body.
Make soup and bake cookies. I want to feed my body with good, healthy, nutritious and sometimes “naughty” food. Plus the house will smell so good!
Read, read, read. It’ll help me grow, grow, grow. And, lastly,
Light my fireplace as much as I can. All I can say is that it’s just so much better than watching TV.
So, in the words of the famous Christmas carol, “Let It snow! Let It snow! Let It snow!”
It’s time to stop fighting and start embracing the winter.
From where I now stand—it could just be the season which makes the rest of the year count.
Author: Niki Parker
Editor: Khara-Jade Warren
Image: Caeleb George/ Unsplash