How do you survive the Winter in your life? Harsh times come to us all. The trick is getting through all the muck and coming out the other side. Sounds like depression. I’ve been there. Here are seven ways to have spring in your winter.
1) It’s like you’re in a cozy box, retreating from the pain and joy in your life. My box had cosy pillows, I was comfortable there, yet I longed to leave. I finally got tired of it and made a decision to get out of the box. People needed me, and I needed myself. It seemed impossible. I believe God revealed to me a plan, to kick myself out of the box. With much effort I made a hole! You can do this too. Then it is easier to tear the thing down. Before you know it you feel the sun on your face, the fresh air, life coming at you and you let a smile escape. That was a winter in my life, even though it may have been spring outside. Winter is challenging but don’t let it bring you down to the depths of depression.
2) Choose to remember the winter harshness of your life is temporary. Anticipate the coming Spring which brings hope for better days. This challenge of winter is temporary for the emotions, the physical, the spiritual and the seasonal. Life is just waiting to burst forth from the dirt at any moment. Pace yourself, go one foot in front of the other and you will get to a safe, healthy destination.
3) There are other ways to choose Spring when Winter gets you down and is effecting your life and relationships. SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a condition that effects 25% of people living in the northern latitudes who get sad in winter. There actually is light therapy for it. Counseling may be necessary. I have found books can be a counselor when you’re seeking wisdom and direction. Sharing with a trusted friend can bring warmth and peace. There may be a chemical imbalance requiring medical help or meds. I am a nurse and would not belittle the medical profession, but once a therapist tried to put me on antidepressants for a situation that resolved and so did the sadness.
4) When you are down, discouraged or depressed you may feel like God has abandoned you and nobody cares. Don’t go by those feelings. You are loved by the God who created you and cares for you. He will help you through any difficulty. That’s a fact, not always a feeling. When my son died in an auto accident I questioned God but I knew He sustained me. I actually felt the support from others prayers. Don’t be doubtful in your prayers, they do make a difference.
5) How do you support those going through the harsh Winter in they lives? Sometimes like the cold and wind that pushes you away, they do this. Hug if they let you. Let them know they are of value and offer help. Encourage with your presence, you don’t have all the answers so don’t try to explain their pain away. Don’t let their frustration become yours. Be patient.
6) What if you have chronic pain that brings you down? Never ever give up! Look for ways to ease your pain and sadness. Walk, it releases endorphins that actually make you feel better. Try an anti- inflammation diet, sounds hard but if it helps it’s worth the effort. The gain of feeling better and being there for your kids is amazing and worth every effort.
7) We all must make the best of a bad situation, whether winter in the season or winter in our emotions. Don’t wallow in the doldrums of discontent, find something to be content about. Choose to celebrate, no matter how treacherous it is. No one can deny the beauty of freshly fallen snow, ice on the trees, the sparkling panorama as sunshine glistens on the snow. Listen to children laughing as they sled down a hill covered with snow, join them in this if you can. It’s great exercise and awesome to have fun times with your kids and grandkids. Our kids bring sunshine even on a dreary day. Allow your little ones to brighten your day and lift your load.
Be determined to get through the winter in your life, whether emotionally or seasonally. You will arrive at Spring with a fresh attitude, a steady resolve and a sound mind to enjoy the next season of your life!