Light at the end of the tunnel! A cliché, yes, but as we enter winter, always a good mindset to carry against the literal darkness.
Figuring out your winter coping strategies is vital to being a well-adjusted Free Stater.
Here are some of mine, AKA “An African in North-East America” :
Proper clothing! The Scandinavians say there’s no such thing as cold weather, only improper clothing. Woolen socks, silk undergarments, good gloves and hats all go a long way to making the cold days more toasty.
Get outside! I take almost daily 45+ minute walks. Yeah, you’re not going to feel like it some days, but go do it anyway. Even just around the block but hopefully farther. One of the best reasons to get a dog… built-in accountability partner! If you don’t have a pet, find someone to walk with you or who will check-in to see if you did.
Happy light! Yes, both the orange ball in the sky that you should be looking at intentionally at sunrise and sunset, but also, get an additional boost with a desktop light therapy lamp. Even 5 minutes a day will improve your mood.
Up or start taking Vitamin D. Just do it.
Meditation! A positive mindset in winter can make a massive difference. I used to get depressed when our Overlords decreed that the time change, resulting in it being dark at 4:20pm, but that was before I understood winter doesn’t get worse and worse, darker and darker, for longer and longer, but rather, instead, it starts getting lighter again before Christmas. Then it’s just the home-stretch to Spring!
If you just need a break… get away! Maybe you can’t afford to travel somewhere sunny and warm, but you can fake a summer-like experience at home. Pick your favorite beach movies, make some of your favorite summer foods, and throw a picnic on a blanket in front of the TV.
Socialize! Or nest! Remember, human contact is important, but also, for me, winter is a wonderful time to recharge my batteries, reflect on what I’ve accomplished, get projects that slipped under fresh eyeballs, catch up, cocoon, and contemplate next steps.
What do you want to accomplish in 2024?
What can you get done over the next 2 months to position yourself for success?
Is there something on the 2023 list you can still bang out? (I’m looking at you basement floor project! lol)
Is there one thing you can do for a friend that will make a remarkable difference in their lives?
Is there one lifestyle tweak you can introduce now, that if practiced routinely for the next 45 days will create a new sustainable lifetime habit? (I’m looking at you, HYDRATION.)
When winter comes, it can seem never-ending, but, as the Stoics and my Ma will say: This too shall pass.
How YOU choose to let Winter pass is, well, up to YOU!
Live mindfully free, use tricks to make life better, and thrive![Photo: Louis and Obi on Head Pond Trail last Sunday.]