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Beat Winter Blues - Find Joy in the Season


It is the 30th of January 2023. and I am so glad that this month is over.

Sometimes life passes by so fast, I can hardly believe another month is gone.

This month has dragged on for me like a pony trying to pull a mad bull.


In the past I have liked Nebraska winters; cold, barren, dark, and windy.

I enjoy bundling up, getting outside with or without snow.

Last winter I rode my horse a lot, but we didn't have so much ice.


I also have enjoyed cross country skiing and ice skating,

Of course, when I was a kid sledding, ice fishing, hunting and trapping with Dad...

brought me great pleasure... and winter was never dreary with him.


In the winter, I look forward to spending those dark evenings...

with books, Bible study, prayer, art and writing projects,

purging and organizing my house, cooking, and pots of tea.


Something in me has always connected to the sacred in winter...

because I believe that each season is sacred in its own way.


But somehow this year seemed different.

Between the, below zero temps, the ice and snow that started before Christmas...

losing my dad's old horse Sunshine and my cousin Bill...

the month of both of my late parent's birthdays...

my sister's hubby breaking his leg on the ice...

and several friends contacting me with prayers for a cancer diagnosis...

I find myself counting down the days until spring.

How about you?


All month long I have been looking for the bright side of winter.

I came up with some tried-and-true strategies that I think will help you...

to not only survive November – April, but to thrive...

and actually, enjoy life during these snowy and frigid months.

I’ve found that the right mindset and tools to deal with the cold weather...

can dramatically improve the situation.


1. Use the opportunity for deeper prayer and study of the Word of God (Take Care of Your Spirit)


When the season changes to a time of year that feels ill-suited...

recognize that we may be grieving a loss.

The gentle spring air is gone along with the flowers and green grass.

I've missed riding my horse every day, because of the extreme slippery conditions.

The long daylight hours no longer surround me with the happy face of the sun.

But in the loss and dark hour I have the light of another Son...

the Light of the World, Jesus Christ.


I encourage you to use this quiet indoor time to pray over your losses.

Pray something like this,

“Lord, I know this sadness is attached to other, deeper, causes of sadness.

Help me identify them and sit with them here and let you comfort me.

Help me to let go of the past and look with gladness and expectation of the spring to come.”

In Jesus Name Amen.


This is a great time to do Bible study in small groups...

because people aren't usually quite as busy as they are in the summer with vacations etc.

Take advantage of the opportunity to gather in homes and focus on the Light of the World.

Don't know of a Bible study group... no excuse... start your own.

I am actually in two Bible studies.

Meeting together with my church family is definitely a must for me.

They always build me up, provide encouragement and love.

Remember knowing that God is always present, we will find the divine even in this cold season.


Isaiah 12: 6 Shout aloud and sing for joy, people of Zion, for great is the Holy One of Israel among you.”



2. Explore sources of Joy (Take Care of Your Soul)


Try to appreciate the beauty that winter brings.

Stopping to bask in the beauty and stillness that winter brings...

makes it a lot more enjoyable to live through.


It could be going for a short walk around your neighborhood enjoying the snowy landscape...

or simply gazing through your window into your backyard...

recognizing how beautiful your trees look with snow on them...

or seeing the beauty of the bright red feathers of a cardinal against the white background.


Savor a robust pot of your favorite homemade hot soup, or hot chocolate with marshmallows...

because they are just not as satisfying in July as in January.


Collect memories into scrapbooks, organize photos, do a creative project, read books...

I like to purge and organize my house, write letters, do artwork and journal...

these things are not as attractive when the warmer weather invites me to be outdoors.


I encourage you to find something...

that you would like to put your focus into and love spending time doing!

Keeping your mind preoccupied with something that you truly enjoy...

looking forward to spending time on it...

can be a great distraction from the winter blahs.


Don’t think of winter activities as default options you’re left with...

but as entirely different yet wonderful pleasures.


During the winter, we have a different set of joys and comforts...

so, let’s dive right into them!


Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy

and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


3. Find winter ways you can serve and socialize. (Take care of Your Relationships)


Don't be a hermit.

It’s easy to allow yourself to become isolated when it’s dreary outside.

Make sure to stay social by keeping in touch with your friends and family.

There’s nothing quite like spending time with our loved ones...

to lift our spirits and help us get out of a funk!


It’s likely that some of the people you know face the same struggles you have in winter.

These long, dark months are prime time for visiting others...

filling the time with conversation, listening and real connections...

even if you can't travel because of road conditions...

just hearing a voice in a phone call can make a huge difference.


If you hate being cold, maybe that could be a reminder....

to buy gloves and heavy socks to donate to organizations that supply people in need.

Volunteer at a local clothing closet, food pantry, nursing home, etc.

The more you give the more you will receive.


The point is to make plans that you’re excited about...

and then focus on fun things coming your way.

Maybe it’s trying out a new cooking or sewing class with friends...

or even treating yourself to a weekend getaway.


Having something enjoyable to look forward to...

always helps with keeping a positive mindset.


2 John 1: 12 I have much to write to you,

but I do not want to use paper and ink.

Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face,

so that our joy may be complete.


4. My final tip is Take Care of your Body.


Get your vitamin D.

Of course, you should always consult with your physician...

before deciding to take supplements...

but it’s definitely something worth looking into.

Personally, I started taking them a few years ago...

and found that ensuring I am not Vitamin D deficient...

really takes the edge off of my winter blahs...

and drastically improves my mood.

Perhaps they would do the same for you!


Exercise:

Make it fun!

Participate in some winter-specific activities...

it will really help you to appreciate what winter has to offer.

If outside activities aren’t for you, no problem.

Even some hardcore cleaning around the house or some brisk mall walking counts!

Just moving and getting your blood flowing is going to make you feel better.

I recently started a new program called "Back to Life"...

which has really helped me with sciatic pain...

it is a double blessing; I feel better physically and emotionally.


Early to bed and early to rise.

I admit it. I am a night owl...

But since I have to get up to fix Keith and early breakfast and take care of horses.

I try to go to bed early so waking up early isn't so hard...

and another benefit is it will allow you to experience as much daylight as possible...

which can really help soften the blow of much shorter days.

And witnessing the sun rising over freshly fallen snow from my kitchen window...

as I cook breakfast is pure magic.


Nehemiah 8: 10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks,

and send some to those who have nothing prepared. T

his day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”


Winter may not be your first choice as a season.

Yet it carries its specific gifts and purposes.

May you enjoy them in the weeks to come.













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About Me

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I believe you must bring your whole self to the table if you want to thrive in today’s crazy world; your personality, your sense of humor, and most importantly, your heart. All of these elements brought me to start Natural Spunk N Shine where I help women in the 2nd half of life, be spunkier,  shine brighter and dream bigger.  Ever since I launched this project, the blog has been thriving and has quickly gained a loyal following. To see what I’ve been up to, browse my site, learn about my passions, and explore what excites and interests you as well.

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