The realization that summer is over and fall is nearly through is starting to sink in. I’ve heard reports of snow at higher elevations and many stores have begun stocking shelves with things to fulfill all your wintry needs.
Okay, so there are still technically a couple of months until winter is officially here, but I consider anything after Halloween, winter. In years past, we used to trick-or-treat in our coats and pants as the first snow had already usually fallen.
Am I excited about winter — absolutely. I can’t wait to bundle up my two-year-old daughter and watch her shriek (in a good way) as she tries out sledding and skating. I’m looking forward to warming up around the campfire with my kiddos and cooking up some s’mores and drinking hot chocolate.
I am a fan of movie days (especially if they are Christmas themed) and that first pot of simmering chilli when the air gets cold.
I think I am more excited for my children’s winter experiences than I was about my own — and I was pretty excited for my own.
I’m also aware that while I am elated at the idea of spending time with my family doing anything and everything, winter can be an extremely hard time for those who are susceptible to the claws of depression.
Winter drives people indoors, which can be isolating if you don’t have a way to get around or are physically unable to traverse the icy sidewalks.
It can be lonely and discouraging to some if they are not involved in some winter activity or group, or if family visits become less and less frequent as the weather conditions become more and more precarious.
With less sunlight to feed our emotional and physical health, many begin to feel sloth-like and uninspired — more likely to curl up at home with a book or a movie, rather than finish a project that’s been on the go or visit with friends.
The same goes for exercise — well known for releasing a rush of endorphins (‘happy hormones’), a workout of any kind is hard to work up to when you aren’t feeling up to it and thus the cycle of inactivity and sadness continues.
Winter can also unearth familiar aches and pains for many, making the days seem longer and more troubling.
It can be very frustrating.
It is important to recognize the signs that something isn’t quite right, not only in yourself but in those around you and seek out professional help when need be.
Sometimes when it comes to your own health you are the last to realize something is amiss.
My suggestions for battling the long, cold days are anything the ‘experts’ would advise, getting outside even if you don’t feel like it and joining in on an activity even if you don’t necessarily think it would be something you would enjoy — you never know.
Winter can be definitely a catalyst for melancholy, but as the saying goes, “This too shall pass” and with it comes the arrival of spring.
— Becky Mann is a 30-something, red haired, mother of two, trying to navigate this life as best she can. She enjoys talking to people and discovering their stories. Still trying to balance her personal and professional life, she juggles work and play. In her spare time Becky can be found visiting with friends, spending time with her family and saving time by reading while walking. She knows there is so much more to come and is looking forward to the continued adventure.