If you are like me and millions of other Americans, the cold, dark winter months can be tough to get through. I just want to stay in bed, under the covers and do nothing but mope and bury my emotions next to my pillow. But responsibilities jerk us out of our beds and into the day feeling like we are being dragged to do things. Even the activities that bring us joy are hard to do because this cold, winter weather take over us and we don't even want to do things that we love.
You are not alone.
No, you are not lazy.
No, you are not an ungrateful person.
No, you are not weak.
You are human.
Bears hibernate during the winter months. It is their time to rest because when spring comes, they start to get busy again and then they do more things in the summer.
So do we! We are very busy all year long and in the fall, we "harvest what we sowed" in the spring and summer. We get busy with school starting in September, then the fall festivities arrive, like Halloween, and Thanksgiving, then the holidays.
It was exhausting!
And then society expects us to be planning right away and doing more things when the new year arrived.
When do we PAUSE? When do we REST? When do we "hibernate"?
We need to honor our bodies and minds when it is telling us to stay-in, stay still and rest. Sometimes we just need to rest more... You do not need to do more. You can say NO. You don't need to prove yourself anymore. It is okay to stay in bed.
But don't stay there forever.
You can visit "sad-town" or stay in bed but you can't live there.
Here are some tips on how to get out of that winter funk:
- Pulling your ear gently upward, downward and away from your head for 2 minutes each ear
- Cold shower for 10 seconds
- Breathing exercises - breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale 8 seconds
- PALM exercise - rubbing palms together and placing your warm palms on your eyes, ears, back of neck and heart
- Going outside for one minute to breathe in fresh cold air and get sunshine
- Hug yourself because it can literally start the flow of oxytocin and serotonin (feel good hormones) in your body
- Reach out to a friend or plan a date with a friend who can hold you accountable to get you out of the house
- Sign up for a social gathering where you commit to showing up and know that you will not regret being there
Yes, alone time is beneficial but as humans we do need to connect to others too and there are plenty of benefits from real connections.