Winter Time Blues
Winter Time Blues
Wrestling With Winter: Living With Post Holiday Let-Down
Change is good. Change is inevitable. Be the change…blah blah blah. I’ve written about it. I’ve tried to be the change and yet recently I found myself sitting in a pool of self-pity, sadness and tears and not having an idea as to why. For the past 57 days I have followed a healthy eating plan, been to the gym practically every day, have lost a significant amount of weight and my physical body feels great. However, for some reason my emotional self has struggled recently forcing me to stop and focus on trying to figure out why. I’m changing in great ways so what is it that is bringing me down? I should be celebrating the New Year with great joy; I am not.
Sitting quietly alone in my thinking chair, I began to search through my journal re-living thoughts from the holidays absorbing the words written on the page hoping to put my finger on the trigger of the crazy mixed-up emotions circling around me like a funnel cloud. We enjoyed the holidays with family and friends, entertained friends in our home, stayed up late, slept in and relaxed in our pajamas. Life was pretty carefree and happy go lucky. As I flipped through the pages of my journal it became evident that one thing my life has lacked over the past two plus weeks was routine; a schedule. Winter has set in with cold bleak weather, darker skies, long cold nights, icy windshields and slippery treks to the mailbox. A heavy coat, knit hat, gloves and a long scarf wraps around my body in an attempt to keep my physical self warm as I dart from the car through the cold running errands, visiting friends and shopping. It’s all so heavy. I move so slowly. I am sad; I am out of sync with life. I miss chocolate, candy, cookies and soda, oh how I miss soda; I miss these things like I miss an old friend. The old me would visit with these old friends on days like this to bring comfort. Most of the time I don’t want the unhealthy choices but at this moment I do. Right now I want to climb into my pantry and bury me head in that unopened box of last year’s Girl Scout cookies and not come up for air until the only thing left is the box. I can’t. I won’t. Knowing it’s dangerous for me to give in to those cravings I push through the struggle and move on. I know I will be able to incorporate small amounts of the sweet sugary starch filled foods, at some point, but for now I must remain focused and free from the distraction. I begin to cry. I miss my old friends; the ones who never judged or argued with me only brought sweet satisfaction when I needed it most. This is hard; really really hard.
The holidays bring about a sense of excitement and anticipation that is magical and exciting. Holiday decorations adorn our homes with sparkle and shine. Christmas trees fill our homes with light, warmth and memories of Christmas’ past. Anticipation of holiday parties, sparkly clothes, delicious food and snappy holiday tunes take up residence in our lives for weeks. And without much warning or preparation it’s all over. We pack it all up and store it away and find ourselves feeling a bit off kilter wondering what has happened. A friend suggested it’s the “Winter Time Blues”, that time where we come down from our holiday high and realize that Spring is months away and we are stuck in the cold, dark, damp days of Winter. Our clothes are heavy, our feet are cold, the days are short and the nights are long. This is a form of temporary (I hope) depression that can affect anyone and everyone. It’s real.
So what can one do to shake these emotions of winter time blues and get back on track? For me I know that I must stay focused keeping a positive attitude and healthy lifestyle. This will allow me to clear my mind and energize myself both physically and emotionally. While exercise is good for the physical body, it will also enhance one’s emotional well-being as well. Exercise relieves stress and helps clears our minds. I have decided that it is time to step up my game at the gym. I have signed up to begin working with the trainer to tone and firm what I lovingly call the “jiggly parts”. Other pick me ups might include meditation, listening to music, reading, journaling, starting a hobby or just getting outside for fresh air. Working to relieve ourselves of this winter induced depression is vital in order to maintain a whole, healthy self.
Whether you suffer from the Winter Time Blues, like I do or have something else that has clouded your emotions and filled you with heaviness I encourage you to work to find a solution that will lighten the load and make these cold dark days of winter more tolerable. Surround yourself with positive energy, productive work, energizing activities, great friends and the anticipation of spring and the promise of warmth and renewal of your spirit. Looking ahead to a new season brings hope while remaining in this season of winter reminds us that the circle of life continues and that each cycle or season is necessary for the next. We cannot hurry through one just to get to the other. So it is in life as well, that we must face the difficulties that lie in front of us like a cold winter storm working toward resolution that will bring us peace and happiness; knowing that life, like the seasons, continues to change bringing with it a bounty of lessons to be learned, blessings to be had and victories to be won.
In the words of 17th Century poet Anne Bradstreet
“If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.”
I am proud to introduce a new column to Madame Deals! I think we all need a touch point a place we can go to be inspired. Karla is my children’s teacher, a good friend, and a person with a heart of gold. I hope that her words will inspire you to do more. We are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. It is important to listen with your heart and proceed with your eyes open. Enjoy!
Check out Karla’s 24 Day Advocare Challenge updates!