Getting through Winter: the formula.

By Monica C. Voskamp

It doesn’t take too much work to make your life a lot better. My brother tells me this concept often. And I know it. And… I forget it. That’s why I’m here reminding you, because we often forget the most important things.

A little bit of effort continually leads to a lot of change!

Its mid February. It’s an easy time to pack on the pounds. To comfort eat. Eat to stay warm in this frigid snow globe of Canada!! It’s easy to get lazy and forego exercise..because hello, it is freezing cold out, icy conditions, windy. Did I mention it’s easy to lose motivation with those gloomy skies? It’s mid-February, the dead of winter when motivation is at it’s lowest. (At least in my books.) It’s the season of that blasted SAD mood alternating thing.  I hate it.

But THIS is exactly why I fight with greater resolute to not succumb to the ‘elements’…to the feelings..to the entire situation. Winter’s the perfect cop out.

It’s the easiest time to give up, because it’s the hardest time to keep on.

I’ve officially decided winter is not my fav season. Lol. I know…I’m 35 and only *now* I decided my favorite seasons. (I never wanted to be partial to the seasons. 😉 )  But while I DO love the change of seasons..I realized my best and worst options. Summer and Winter.

I love summer. I’m easily motivated. I exercise lots. There is warm golden sunshine and BEACHES… there are beaches people. (Can you tell I love the water? :D)

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Photo by Salvador Martin Yeste on Unsplash

It’s a little closer to the garden of Eden weather. It’s road trip time, lots of adventuring. The world is in full bloom and people mostly are in better moods…or maybe it’s just me ha.

Winter..I do not like winter. Yes, I love the magical snow and ice, but I have to look dam close for the beautiful continually.  I do not like the season because of the struggle it brings. I’ve seen one too many winter depressions..that got too close to the edge. And yes I feel I’m still holding my breathe because March and April have yet to come. I don’t like winter for the increased head pain. My head pain skyrockets in the winter for some reason. Depression and pain. Cold.  And oh…need I add the struggle to seek comfort in food…and hence I become a little more wubbly.

That’s enough to make me say..winter I don’t like the season of you. Because for me, its hard to just get through the day. My goals and dreams drift into a haze. I don’t have the energy to focus on more than getting through the day. (Depression a lot.. ya :/ ) My cognition skills go down the drain the higher my pain…not a fan of this.

But this is why winter is both my friend and enemy. It is the season I get to fight back. It the season that pushes me down, but also dares me to rise up stronger.

It challenges me. Winter provides me the opportunity to develop muscles I wouldn’t otherwise.

How do you find motivation in the dead of winter? Let me tell you.

1. Take care of you.

2. Take care of you.

3. Never give up.

4. Take care of others.

5. And, let others take care of you.

Read that well. I want you to embrace yourself in a hug. ❤

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Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Winter is a very specific time to remember to care for you and for others. Winter is the time to persevere. I know, someone has to be saying I hate that word! (persevere) Because anytime I’m going through a rough time, and someone times me just hang in there, just keep on. I’m like dam, I hate “hanging in there.” I’m not saying its easy. You know its not..I know. We both know.

The dead of winter is the perfect time to give up, and the perfect time to show your strength. We get to choose. I have to choose. Every day.  We need to remind each other why we keep on, why to hang on. We need to remind each other with *hope*.

I get overwhelmed by my pain. I get overwhelmed with anxiety…I’ve had one too many nightmares this winter..I get overwhelmed by the simplest things. I wonder how I can be strong enough for the things that threaten to undo me…

I realized this:  I can’t do winters alone (well no season, but especially not winter!) I need good people in my life. It doesn’t matter if it’s only a couple close friends, I need the community of them. (&I forget they also need the community of me!)

We’re in this together…the fight, the pain…and the gain.

The other thing: I need to take care of myself. When my body, my mind give me hints that it is suffering,  it is reminding me: Take care of yourself.  And so I do. Sometimes I listen a lot slower than I should, but I remember what important at the end of the day.
Love. Hope. Belief.

We all need love. We all need hope. We all need the faith that these exist.

How am I finding motivation in winter? Well, I struggle. I wrestle. I read articles that are in line with my goals. I force myself out in nature (& am rewarded with rejuvenation!) I talk..no confide..in those few people who are my soul keepers. I let them tend to me. And I remember others. It’s not a smooth flawless happening…It’s days of all those things intermingling.

It telling myself some days: tonight you just need to skip that walk, skip that normal writing routine and watch a funny comedy.  I remind myself to laugh. I let myself cry.

Winter is a struggle, a bloody wrestling.

But in wrestling we learn, we grow our muscles. We encounter defeat. We encounter victory. Winter isn’t a fairy tale land, but it IS the perfect time to grow.

It’s okay if today you feel defeated. It’s part of the being in the ring of winter. Tomorrow is still there for you. Don’t measure your fate by today or yesterday.

Find strength and comfort in you are not alone. We are all here in winter. We are all in this ring. Take time for you, take time for others, and let others love on you. This is how we will make it. This is how we get from winter to spring. ❤

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Photo by TOMOKO UJI on Unsplash
Always believe. Always hope. Always love. ❤

*Cover photo credit: Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

 

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