Up until a few years ago, I used to hate winter. The first things that would come to my mind when I thought of the season were how cold it is, how isolating it can feel (and I’m an introvert so being by myself is kind of my thing), and how my feelings just always felt off during winter.
My birthday happens to fall in winter. Although younger me found it a little annoying that my birthday celebrations had to be indoors, there was always joy during those celebrations. As a child, winter wasn’t my favorite season, but it seemed so much more fun then than now. We used to go ice skating and would sometimes play in the snow. Simply put, living up North helped make winter fun. In my opinion, it’s a bit harder to embrace winter when you live in the south.
Now that I’m an adult and no longer live in the North, I miss the snow and the joys that I used to associate with this season as a child. As an adult, I have noticed that I feel restless, moody, and tired during this time of year. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I heard of the terms winter blues and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). According to the Brain & Behavior Research Foundation, “the winter blues are very common, and many people experience a mood shift during winter.” Some people may feel tired and down. SAD is a type of depression that happens during the winter months, but symptoms can appear in the fall.
Now that it’s winter and we’re still going through this pandemic, it’s even more important to find ways to cope with this season.
There is no way to avoid seasons. They will come, and they will go. It is inevitable. Instead of dreading winter, I’ve decided to embrace it. I’ve been finding the magic and joy in winter to battle the winter blues, especially during the pandemic.
Below are some things that have helped me embrace the stillness of winter while also dealing with this ongoing pandemic:
Celebrate birthdays and holidays
Every season has a few holidays, so there are many opportunities to celebrate. Celebrating holidays and birthdays are slightly different now that Covid is around, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun.
The holidays are even more fun now that I have kids, so I always enjoy some fun activities with my family. We love baking cookies and watching movies. We make crafts related to the season or holiday. For Christmas, we made ornaments and cards. We watched the celebration at Times Square for New Year’s Eve and did our usual New Year’s Eve traditions like eating 12 grapes and making 12 wishes.
My birthday falls in winter, so I always make it a point to celebrate for the entire month, especially since my birthday is in winter and so close to major holidays.
Enjoy seasonal drinks
I’m currently on a hot chocolate kick. I’ve been trying so many different flavors of hot chocolate as well as hot chocolate bombs. My sons seem so amused with my love for hot chocolate. Every time I come home from the grocery store, they ask if I’ve found a new hot chocolate flavor. My sons asked if we could make some homemade hot chocolate bombs the other day, so I was excited. I’m not the best at baking or cooking (a tragedy, really), but I can’t wait to try to make some hot cocoa bombs with my boys.
Embrace the Stillness of Winter
Winter is the season of pause or stillness. It seems like time goes by so slowly, which can be incredibly overwhelming. Rather than fight the silence of winter, I’ve been making it a point to enjoy it. I welcome the stillness. The best way to embrace the stillness of winter is by making sure to make time for myself. Every day, I wake up a bit earlier than my family and enjoy the silence before it’s time to get started on the day. Sometimes, I’ll read or journal while enjoying a cup of hot chocolate or coffee. I’ll reflect on the previous day and hope that this new day will be a good one. Winter is now the season of reflection for me.
I have always loved to read, but I have been devouring books since the pandemic started. It’s been an excellent way to escape reality for a bit. I’ve noticed that I read a lot more in winter, and I think it’s just a way to bring me more comfort during this time of year.
If you struggle with the winter blues or have difficulty adjusting to this seasonal change, I hope you can find ways to cope with winter. I hope you’re able to embrace the stillness of winter.