February 2nd. That date falls at the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In the US, we have a tradition called Groundhogs Day based on folklore of the groundhog seeing his shadow, or not, and predicting 6 more weeks of winter or an early spring. Early Church history marks this day as the day for the candles, that would be used in the church for the coming year, to be blessed, and they called it "Candlemas Day". It is also taught that this is the day that Jesus was brought to the Temple and Simeon called Him the "Light Of The World."
I welcome the return of longer days and the promise of warmer weather. Each year, it gets harder and harder for me to cope with winter and the cold. As a way for me to combat those winter blues and not only survive the winter, but thrive, I put together a list of some strategies I use to help stay mentally, physically and spiritually healthy during the long, dark winter months.
- Open up your home. My husband and I have been very intentional this winter with opening our home for hospitality. We have invited people we have known for a long time and needed to catch up with. We also invited friends over who we wanted to get to know better. Serving others is a great way to take the focus off of self and put it on someone else.
- I am intentional with movement. I make sure that I exercise in some way each day. Even though I would rather sit on the couch and snuggle with my kids or read a good book, I make sure I move my body. It not only helps me burn off restless energy and sleep better, exercise helps me mentally cope with the winter by improving my mood and gives me MORE energy for things I need to do. Find something you enjoy and start moving. I wrote a blog post about this to help you get started.
- At night, before you go to bed, Thank God and count your blessings. Rather than spend time rehashing the day and what went wrong, spend time focused on what went right. You will sleep better.
- Go outside, even if it is only for five minutes. The fresh air will do you good, I promise.
- Deep Clean. Everyone talks about spring cleaning, but I would rather deep clean the closets and the cabinets during a snowstorm than on a sunny spring day. Plus, occupying my mind with a task like organizing a room or purging paperwork, does take my mind off wanting to bake chocolate chip cookies and eat. them. all.
- Treat Yourself. Research a fun place for a future vacation. Watch a funny movie. Buy citrus or coconut smelling hand soap. You don't need to spend a lot of money to boost your mood.
Most importantly, remember, life won't always be this way. Spring will come, and with it, longer, warmer, more pleasant days. In the Health Wellness and Chocolate Membership Community, I offer a Health and Wellness blue print, which walks you through, step by step, how to develop a personalized health and wellness plan. Join Today, I would love to work with you!