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  • Fe Robinson

Embracing the gifts of winter

Oh dear, it’s well and truly winter. The season of hunkering down and withdrawing within while the winds howl, the temperatures drop, and the deluges fall. This is a season when for many people mood drops and the winter blues set in. Here are some tips to help you get through the winter.

  • Recognise your body's natural rhythms and how it is responding to the time of year. We are not designed to have the same activity levels all year round so listen to what it's telling you and make adjustments to work with it, not override it.

  • Renew yourself with getting out in nature, be it by water, trees, the beach or open landscapes, where possible. Dressed appropriately, any weather can be rejuvenating. Make the most of the light by going out at lunchtime if you are working throughout daylight hours.

  • Stay mobile and look after your body. Sitting inactively is not going to help your state of mind, and it can make your body seize up and get more easily injured when you do move more.

  • Notice this winter period is one of stripping back and laying bare, and parallel this psychologically by exploring your deeper feelings and thoughts. What is being revealed in this time of less activity, less light, and less distraction? Journal, draw, psychotherapy if it helps.

  • Savour what you appreciate, perhaps by daily taking a few minutes to notice what's standing out for you right now, and what you are thankful for.

  • Connect meaningfully with the people you love and care about. We are social, relational beings, and being with other people changes our physiology and our psychology. It’s good for you, even if you’re an introvert, you just need to find the right dosage!

  • List ten things that make your heart sing that you are able to do, and regularly do them. From watching a sunrise or sunset to hot chocolate to dancing like no-one's watching, they don't need to be big or extravagant. It’s more likely the small, simple things that give a sense of joy. You could encourage those you love to do this too, and enjoy doing some of them together.

  • Every season is different, and every winter is different. Long held patterns were disrupted in the lockdown years, and now you may be returning to them, or forming new or hybrid patterns. Look deeply at what works for you and your loved ones, and go with that. Be real with yourself and those you're intimate with. How are you evolving this year?

  • Look towards the spring and our emergence from the darkness and cold of winter, and reflect on what you can do during this winter period to ready yourself for what you want to have happen next. How can you make this a time you look back on with pride and pleasure?


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