Wayne Dyer said, “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” I think this rings true for so many things… especially the winter blahs. As with anything, it’s pretty interesting how a simple shift in perspective can literally change your experience.
The weather is a frequent topic of conversation. Probably because it’s a form of connection between all of us. While we experience it together each and every day, the weather creates different experiences for everyone.
Take, for example, a hot summer day. It’s really not my favorite. I’d rather live year-round with crisp fall days or beautiful snowy ones. I always thought I was a rarity but I’ve come to discover I’m not alone!
But for those of you who DO love those hot summer days over the cold ones, let me share with you some “deep thoughts” and “light and lovely ideas” from the land of snow globes that might make your experience this winter a little more enjoyable….oh and don’t forget to read or listen to the very end. I am sharing my “Favorite Find” from the week and I am crazy about this one!
- Create More Community
If you feel isolated during the colder season and cooped up, why not embrace the “inside” part of the season? A weekly game night, book club, dinner club, or just hosting smaller dinner parties are all ways to have something to look forward to and connect at a deeper level with people. It’s easy to get caught up in the “doing” of life… the to-do lists, the actions steps, the goals, and the vision. But what about the “being” of life that all that “doing” is supposed to get us to?
As many of you know, Louise Penney’s books are some of my favorites. It’s my guess that people don’t read them as much for the murder mystery aspect but more for the coziness and sense of community she evokes in her work. The small village of Three Pines outside Montreal is not a fantasy land but instead a real community with real problems just like in your own life…except for one thing. It feels as if they have tapped into the strength of connection and they make an exceptional effort to create a beautiful ambiance and cohesive culture with one another.
Living in a bigger city is easy in many ways. You can grab a cup of coffee at one of the hundreds of coffee shops, you can go to the art museums, the ballet, and symphony…. All at a moment’s notice…And without having to see the people you don’t really like!
From personal experience, when living in a smaller town, it takes more intention (as well as effort, empathy, and patience!) to create a connection. It takes effort to come up with unique ideas to avoid sitting in your home staring at the walls wondering why you didn’t move to Arizona. In order to avoid complete isolation, you have to put up with certain people by tapping into your maturity and actually practicing the definitions of empathy and patience. If you avoided everyone who triggered you in a small town, your social scene would slowly dwindle.
So whether you live in the country or the big apple, try cultivating more community this season if you’re feeling a bit blue.
- Grab your snowshoes.
Never underestimate the power of a good power walk through the snow. I was introduced to this sport while living and working in Eagle Vail, CO, and continue to enjoy it. While there aren’t mountains to climb anymore (which in a way I’m grateful for!), a simple cruise through your local park is an incredible workout and super fun on the deep powder days. There’s nothing like a sunrise or sunset snowshoe to get the endorphins flowing AND to soak in the beauty of nature. Check out your local sporting goods stores for the latest and greatest. Mine are still the “old fashioned” ones circa 1994 and while they’re still perfect for me, the new ones are much easier to hop in and out of, etc.
- “I am here, now.”
I was reminded this week of this simple yet powerful mantra during a conversation with a good friend. She and her husband dreamt of having a family for several years and POOF their wish came true! That “someday” has now arrived in its full glory. They are living a crazy and beautiful and fun-filled chapter of their lives with two beautiful little munchkins. Talking with her today, we were sharing visions for our futures, where we saw our lives headed, etc. and she suddenly halted the conversation with an “okay, listen we need to STOP!” I was so grateful for what she said next. She went on to explain how diligently she is working on staying in the “now.” Since having children, she’s has become keenly aware of how she tends to jump ahead to the future where she and her husband have more freedom, things aren’t as chaotic, and when 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is a given. I loved how she had the awareness of “Hey, for so long I wanted THIS life, the one we now have…why am I now trying to jump ahead without first enjoying the fact that what we wanted has now arrived?”
This is exactly how Deepak Chopra explains the art of being present. He says something to the effect of when we live in the future and then future arrives, we miss it… because we are always one step ahead into the next future space.
In a way, you have to feel sorry for the present moment always trying to grab your attention like a toddler hungry for your presence. Jumping to the future is like scrolling social media while your child wants to show you the sunset.
So even when the wind howls, and when the rain, snow, or slush is everywhere… stop. And remind yourself that the sun rose today just for your pleasure, you are still breathing and that’s pretty amazing, and you have the gift of this day. Today has never happened before and never will again so mentally resist the urge to throw it in the trash because the weather isn’t ideal.
- “Simple Pleasure” Rituals
There is something comforting about rituals. They give order to our days and meaning to our experiences. Whether it’s warm lemon and honey water every morning (Thank you, Rita Weiler, from Chandelier Hair Boutique in Wisconsin Rapids for the tip!) or your favorite morning brew, indulging in simple pleasures creates little bursts of happiness throughout our days.
Do the earlier dark days bring you down? Create a late afternoon ritual similar to an English tea break. Bring your favorite tea and sweets to work or take a break at home. Consider it your “winter treat” for the season.
Don’t forget a cozy bathrobe, blanket, cocoa, and a fire. So what if you don’t have a fireplace that works… or not one at all? They have apps and channels with a fire video for your television.. and there are electric ones you can purchase for your nonworking fireplace.
The point is to get the ambiance going, it doesn’t have to be perfect.
When all else fails, turn on the Hallmark channel! My nieces got me hooked on these and we converted my Dad over Christmas last year. He loves them because as he says “they all have happy endings.” Yes, they are a wee bit corny… but what’s wrong with corny? I love Lucy episodes are corny and I love those too! I don’t know about you, but an overdose of the news is enough to put me into a downward spiral. While it’s important to stay tuned in to the world, it’s another thing to allow it to lower your vibe. In order to create more light in the world, we need your energy… so treasure it and give it some TLC!
So back to the Hallmark channel… there’s something comforting about the shows. Other favorites? Downtown Abbey- this is a great one just to have on when you’re cleaning, cooking, or organizing. The beautiful music, calm tone and cadence of the character’s voices, and the beautiful visuals in the show simply add a little beauty to a dreary day. The final favorite is The Good Witch on Netflix. LOVE THIS ONE! It’s like Louise Penney’s Three Pines with a little woo woo thrown in.
So there you go my friends. I hope you’re inspired to try these or concoct your own ways to avoid the winter blues. I’d love to hear your favorites so please comment below.
Oh, and I can’t forget to mention my “Favorite Find” of the week.
It all started with a bout of plantar fasciitis this summer and fall. I’m getting over it but the minute I wear anything with a heel or a plain flat, the pain comes back. Looking through a google search of “comfortable and cute flats” I came across the shoe called “Birdies” and remembered seeing them on Meghan Markle. Apparently they’re her favorites J
Not only do I love these shoes as they share the same name as my sweet dog, but they are literally the most comfortable flats I’ve ever owned…. And the velvet ones are perfect for winter!
My black velvet pair arrived a few days ago and I am over the moon with their comfort and beauty. I think I have to order the red ones too as they are luxuriously soft and perfect for any occasion.
If you’re interested, I have a coupon to receive $20.00 off your first order. Just click this link to check out the shoes and order a pair of your own.
They are definitely what I would call “comfy & cozy”… and cute too.
Have a great week everyone and I’ll see you next time,