It happens every year. We set the clocks back to “fall back” and lament the 4:30pm sunset.
We dread the approach of darker, colder days and brace ourselves to fight through the winter. It’s all part of being a New Englander, right? But what if our mindset is making it feel worse than it actually is? Practicing mindfulness techniques can help change our internal conversation about the return of the cold and dark.
Focus on the present moment. Check in with yourself: are you okay right now? It’s 5:30pm and it’s dark and cold, but are you okay right now? The answer is probably yes! If it’s still light outside, soak it in. Don’t focus on a moment that isn’t here yet. If we spend all morning lamenting that it will be dark at 4pm, then haven’t we essentially spent all day in the dark in our minds?
Acknowledge what you can’t control and celebrate the positive. Your energy is precious. Will spending it on resisting the inevitable changing of the seasons really help you feel better? Instead, try embracing what makes the season unique and find the little things you enjoy. You can’t have a pumpkin spice latte in July, right?
Make a winter plan. There are legitimate reasons why so many of us struggle during the darker, colder months such as increased social isolation, decreased exercise and time outdoors, holiday and family stress, or even let-down after the holiday excitement and celebrations are over. Here are some ideas for positive actions to address these challenges head on:
Above all this season, practice staying present. When it all feels overwhelming, remind yourself to pause, breathe, and check in with yourself. Am I okay right now?
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