(This post was inspired by a podcast by Michael Hyatt, which focuses on physical steps can take get out of a funk. My focus is on the spiritual and psychological.)
Last week brought the full fury of winter down on many parts of the country. Snow and cold do not only shut down our schools and slow down our cars. They sap our spirits. They drain our energy.
Scientists call this condition seasonal affective disorder. We call it the winter blues. Here are few steps for dealing with it.
1. Change your perspective: Shakespeare once wrote that “There is nothing either good or bad but makes it so. We shape our reaction to the world.
Hard as it may sound, we can try to change our perspective and see winter as a time of excitement and wonder. We experience snow. We see variety. We can better appreciate a warm fire and hot cup of cocoa.
If every day felt like spring, spring would be nothing special.
2. Keep routines: During the winter, I find it harder to get up the morning and exercise or pray or meditate. It takes more effort to go out for a meal.
But if we keep up our regular routines, we maintain balance. They help us adapt.
3. Be social: It is tempting to hole up in the winter and go to work and come home and spend as little time outside of the house as possible. Bears hibernate. Why shouldn’t we? Resist the temptation.
Friendship and community bring us happiness wherever we are. The happiest countries in the world are not those in perfect climates. They are Denmark and Norway and Sweden. Happiness and satisfaction flow out of relationships, not the weather.
4. Envision the future: The Bible tells us that without vision, the people will perish. Without a vision of better weather, we can feel trapped by the winter blues.
We can, however, use this time to our advantage. Start planning a summer vacation. Start thinking about your children or grandchildren’s athletic season.
The Ring of Happiness
Jewish legend tells us that King Solomon wore a very special ring. He looked at it in times of despair. Inscribed on the rings were the words, “This, too, shall pass.”
To those of us walking slowly on the ice, brushing mounds of snow off our windshields and feeling down as we open the curtains in the morning, let us remember that this, too, shall pass.
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