As the cold winter months approach, I find myself reflecting on changing our negative beliefs about winter can be a potent catalyst for enhancing mental well-being. I recently sat down with colleague and friend Jasmine Vatuloka of Rising Rooted Wellness, to share practical strategies and mind-shifting practices to help you turn winter from a season of dread to an opportunity for introspection and growth.
In our live talk we discuss just a few of the following strategies:
Cultivating a positive vision and mindset toward winter. The season isn’t just a stretch of darkness and cold weather, but as a chance for personal growth and beauty. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and imagine winter as a time of reflection and rest, embracing the gifts of comfort, protection, selfcare, and creativity. By adopting a positive mindset, you can reshape your experience, reducing stress and fostering well-being throughout the colder months.
It’s also important to not overlook the power of aligning oneself with nature's cycles, and accepting winter as an integral part of Mother Nature’s natural order. Spiritual practices, like forest bathing and winter hiking, connect your bond with nature. By spending brief moments outdoors daily, you can tap into the rejuvenating benefits of nature, promoting resilience and harmony with the seasonal shifts.
Navigating through open conversations and social sparks
After acknowledging you are struggling, it’s important to maintain open communication and seek support. Take advantage of discussing mental health challenges openly with friends and family. Simple examples could include having a heart-to-heart conversation with a close friend about the struggles of the season, or reaching out for support when needed. By fostering an environment of understanding and compassion, you’ll be better able to navigate the winter months with a support system in place, providing emotional and camaraderie.
Be proactive and take control of how you want to feel. Proactive social planning can be a game-changer. Stick to scheduling weekly outings during the winter months. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it could be a trip to the library, trying a new restaurant, checking out an exhibit, thrifting, the list goes on. This not only ensures regular social interaction, but also provides a beacon of joy and connection, helping to lift spirits and combat the isolation that often accompanies seasonal depression.
We are all unique beings with different personalities, likes, and dis-likes. Docs on self-care strategies that match your personality and needs. For a social individual, this might involve engaging in group activities, or joining clubs centered around shared interests. Simple examples could include signing up for a winter sports league, participating in a book club, or attending local events. By aligning self-care practices with your personality and needs, you can find joy in activities that resonate with you, fostering a sense of community and combating the winter blues.
So what’s next?
These are just a few practical strategies that we share in our live talk. I invite you to transform your relationship with winter this year and moving forward by watching the full live talk. Remember, the journey begins by altering your beliefs, identifying/acknowledging your struggles, and taking action. I look forward to hearing your feedback in the comments on the YouTube video. Until then, take care, and I’m wishing you all the best this fall/winter.