"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. " -John Steinbeck
It’s inevitable that winter must come each year. We all know that there is a sense of angst about it as the wind blows in from the other direction and under the doors. People shudder at the first feel of chill and make comments to concede the defeat of the good times.
“Well that was summer over with”
The message being portrayed is that the fun is over and the time to hunker down and worry about the dangers of cold toes and dry skin to come, is now. Going outside is banned from the mind and so is optimism of actually enjoying the rain that falls – you might catch a cold by mere thinking it.
Fear not citizen. Here’s some advice that I’ve used on myself to not only fix my inner beliefs but push me to see the opportunities of action available each year around this time.
1) Discard All Old Stereo-Types
We don’t pay attention to how this effects our mindset over the course of the season and onto the people around us. We turn inward by looking to the past of brighter days or look far ahead until next summer to fix our attitude when we could be focused on seeing the famous opportunities that winter provides. What we can do with our time in this season is actually pretty endless and we need to take hold of ourselves and make a conscious mind pivot into embracing the shivers.
2) Educate Yourself on Personal Growth
For some reason we contrast summer and spring with the good times and winter with the blues. Now I am not an enemy of the enjoying sun. Vitamin D has proven benefits and without it your physce and physical health can take a real dive. Who doesn’t want a boost to your mood? But the winter time can also be viewed in a good manner. Without this vital season, plants crops and wildlife would not recover properly from the beating of the sun. The dry weather as cuddly warm as it feels eventually dry’s the roots of the ground, swallows up the moisture of the foundational soil up and wrecks havoc on the life it’s meant to produce. It needs watering to nourish the goodness of where the greenery came from in the first place. Same goes for our personal growth. As you spend more time indoors during winter, you have more time on your hands to take stock of where your life is going while sitting by the glow of the fire. This time is valuable to contemplate strategic life moves, read books, switch systems to be more time efficient and plan new life goals. Be honest with yourself too.
3) Don’t Waste Time
We should take aggressive action while in winter and reap the benefits of not wasting time. There is usually a lot of D.I.Y things that need doing around the house for example. The creaky boards, the leaky faucet or the dust upon that really high set of cupboards that never gets attention. “That’s a five minute job, that won’t occupy me an entire winter!” True, so if it only takes 5 minutes why isn’t it done? Get rid of your excuses this year. Do the jobs.
Too often these are simple things that we avoid and they might not seem like the most exciting way to use your time but behind all this is what it is teaching you inwardly. Positivism, Action, Opportunity, Productivity.
The temptation when it’s cold is to sit idle with blankets and soups, which there is a time for to enjoy, but I urge you to break that up habit as often as possible. Mere busy work is not the goal but making sure your mind stays nimble and healthy, when it is grim out there, should be a massive improvement to your life. Time wasted is not what you are doing this time. So get going because you will spur others on as well.
4) Your Mindset Will Be More Resilience
If you have followed the first 3 steps the 4th will be a result of how serious you’ve taken them. If you watch people from around the coldest places on earth like the people of Alaska, Canada or Iceland, nobody can deny how they are a more resilient people. They appear a little more tough minded because they don’t let the the harsh elements dictate their attitude. They get more done in a day. They understand this should not effect their mindset. It won’t matter where you are from – winter is still winter and cold is still unpleasant, but we can learn from the Alaskans and Nordic folk in how to be wise with our days. We should strive to be leaders of the pack about the coming months and what can be achieved opposed to what is hindering us that is outside of our control. People will follow leaders who believe in their mission and live by a set example. The result of living this will be a more resilient, positive mindset.
Get Outdoors, Get Outside Your Troubles
Winter is troublesome with it’s unforgiving drench of rain. Gazing outside the window and seeing puddles, people driving slower than normal and umbrellas are out in full power can dampen the mood a bit. We should not let this dampen our minds even still. Getting outdoors and doing fun things will come with a cost of some comfort but it is vital to our well being.
Winter is a catalyst for life. A time-less metaphor. We get rained on by a lot of different problems in our life at the worst of times. Family dynamics, financial stress and feeling worn out from our jobs all happen each year. We simply cannot wait for brighter, warmer days. We like-wise cannot simply wait for the better times to come to us. The better times can still be in our control. It has to sometimes come from within a change of heart and let that be the warmth from which we draw from.
Get outdoors, Get outside your troubles and go enjoy The God given season that is winter.