What is Helping You Survive These Winter Months?

My grandparents headed to Arizona during the winter months, leaving me wondering why they left every year and why on Sunday nights we couldn’t visit them. Now with each passing winter, I understand more and more why they headed south. South towards the sun and warm balmy days.

Heading south is not an option, though. Even if I live where it is cold outside. So, what are we to do?

Winter blows in with cold temperatures. At first it is fun to wear those winter coats, sweaters, and long sleeve shirts that have been lying unused. Christmas arrives, amid parties and a flurry of activities that take minds off the cold. January arrives, and there is a new meaning to cold. To darkness. To dreary, now that all the Christmas decorations and lights are packed away.

It feels like there is nothing to do but hunker down and wait.

Then February sneaks in, and while the days are getting a little longer, it feels like winter will never end. The weather is unpredictable and cancels calendar plans. Sickness stalks the aisles.  The house feels like it will never be warm again.

By February, I tend to wear the few same things over and over. What does it matter what cute shirt I wear as a hoodie or thick sweater tops everything? And when I venture out, a coat tends to stay on more often then not. I feel like I will never be toasty warm again.

As February unfolds, I need to force myself outside for walks. To leave the house more often. To remind myself that winter has never lasted forever.

It seems that during this time period, this waiting for winter to end, it is little things that tend to bring me happiness. Little things that make me smile. Little things that brighten my day. Little things that sustain me.

Hot tea with honey and milk.

Fingerless gloves.

Good books.

Blankets to snuggle under.

Conversations with family and friends.

Windows that spill in light and sunshine.

Planning summer trips and activities.

A happy (bright colored) winter coat.

Flannel sheets, topped with a down comforter.

Pie of any kind.

Hugs

Words of hope and truth.

Memories of warmer times and places.

A good belly laugh.

Thoughts of spring and knowing it will return.

Knowing that I am not the only one waiting. Hoping. Dreaming of spring.

So, what bringing you happiness during winter?

What is sustaining you in these cold winter months?

Don’t wait until spring to be happy and satisfied. Find something that can sustain you now.

Winter is a time of rest, regrouping, and refreshing so growth emerges forth come spring.

Winter is a time of counting different blessings and finding joy in the starkness that surrounds us.

We may have to look harder to find the positive, to notice our blessings, to find the joy, but it is there.

Find it. Count it. Do it. Be happy. And then share that happiness with others.   

All that sharing will create community that lasts long past the seasons.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

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Join the discussion: What is bringing you happiness and helping you get through these winter months?

May link up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory);  Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

16 Replies to “What is Helping You Survive These Winter Months?”

  1. I like to rearrange my furniture and throw out/give away un-needed items. It makes me happy to renew my house when I can’t be outside. Which is good because when spring comes I won’t want to go inside until winter. Lol

  2. Long conversations with a good friend! And interior painting/remodeling. Now is the time. I like the point about forcing yourself to go outside. So important. Thanks for the encouragement!

  3. Exercise at the gym, especially when it is raining! Shopping with a friend! Stupid jokes: how do the months walk? February will March and April May. I always read Theresa!s blogs and posts. They make me feel happy and peaceful.

    • Love the joke, Colleen. Now that was so corny, it was funny. Just this morning I was telling my husband a corny joke, which had him laughing, Or else he was laughing at me. Which also happens.

      Yes, to was exercising. That’s a great mood builder.

  4. I engage in self-care like exercise, connecting with others, finding ways to get creative, and taking time for prayer and solitude most days. I just was telling my husband last night that I was feeling down for no reason lately, and he wondered if it was winter related. I like your idea of celebrating the small things you enjoy about right here, right now.

  5. It’s not cold in Ga. but I have had cabin fever and I know the meaning of stir crazy. I took advantage of naps, trying some of those Pinterest recipes, I’m always reading and writing, good time to pack things for Goodwill, ans just sing away the winter blues.

    • Thanks Rebecca. And yes to singing away the blues. Maybe even dancing a little! It is nice to have a little downtime and try some of those things you have wanted to tackle. Good for you. And yes, to all the naps that I am able to squeeze in. They are a little thing that can make one feel so much better.

  6. I have SAD (seasonal affected disorder). I have a protocol that I follow every winter. I take more Vitamin D3 most days. I use a table top light and do light therapy almost every single day. When it is cloudy, I do a whole hour of it. When it is sunny I take a sun bath (of sorts) in the living room when I can sit in full sun. I try to keep moving and also get out of the house regularly and off the property at least once a week. I try to wear bright cheerful colors on the darkest days.Social interaction is important too. I also try to make sure I do rest because it is the season of rest and refreshment. Taking naps is good, but I resist them more than I should these days.

    Your suggestions are good. 🙂

  7. I like to go up to the mountains and make a huge bonfire with hot chocolate and sledding.

    I also do this year round but it seems especially important (I often re-start it) in the winter. I grab a big piece of tag (poster) board and right with a sharpie “We’re Thankful”. I tape it to somewhere I look daily, like the front of my bedroom door. Ever time I see it I think about something small or big that day that I’m happy I have in my life. Then as it builds it makes me happy not only to write new things but to remember why I wrote old things.

    • Sledding in the snow with a fire and hot chocolate. Sounds refreshing and fun.

      Jessica, love your idea about the large poster board covered with things you are grateful for. What a great reminder and smile maker. A family could also do this together, each writing down something each day. Thanks for sharing.

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