This winter much of the country has been bombarded with frost and we are enduring some of the coldest temperatures ever. We are learning new terms such as polar vortex and lake effect and the wind chill index has become even more important than the actual temperature. This winter has created a whole new demographic of people who tune in just to get the weather report, and as a result the networks are putting on weather segments that rival the drama ordinarily reserved for natural catastrophes and terrorist threats. The relentless message goes something like this; We’re in a terrible mess. Here are the horrific images of how bad the mess is. This mess is much worse than last year’s mess and all similar messes in recent history!
Now I’m not at all against full and complete reporting of this very important and extremely protracted winter season. It is critical that people be informed in real time of the current and changing weather that effects our lives and the lives of our loved ones. However, I invite you to become aware of the negative effect these constant messages (coupled with the very real challenges of the snow and cold) can have on your attitude, emotions, and enjoyment of life. Researchers have observed that the winter months have an impact on sleep patterns, mood, loss of optimism, and increases in depression. Our emotions and our sense of well-being are affected by constant messages that emphasize the negative. But ultimately we ourselves are in control of how we perceive our reality. I remember when three feet of snow meant building snowmen, whooshing down the hill on a trash can top, and snowball fights with my cousins. I don’t remember the cold so much. If perception is everything then we must take control of the direction our thoughts and emotions take us.
So what can you do to keep your mojo during the winter months?
- On clear days keep the blinds open at home and at the office. Soak up the UV rays and the Vitamin D whenever possible.
- Exercise at your desk to increase serotonin levels and stay fit.
- Practice yoga or meditate 15 minutes per day to reduce stress hormone levels.
- Get out of the house! Gather with friends and family to laugh and recharge.
- Shape how you think (and therefore how you feel) by focusing on the good things in your life.
- Entertain yourself. Pull out an old project or start a new one ( I painted the hinges and put awesome brass knobs on all my kitchen cabinets. Saved money on the kitchen renovation).
- Enroll in a class, create, build, or try a new elaborate recipe.
So come on! Winter doesn’t last forever. For a moment look up from your shovel to notice how absolutely beautiful is this white blanket of puffy stuff. The earth is never so peaceful as it is on a snowy night.
And if you haven’t had a snowball fight yet, better get one on before the snow melts!
1. List the top three unfinished household projects that have been bugging you.
2. Select one project and write down the steps to accomplishing it.
3. Make a commitment to get it started this week.
For thirty days greet the morning by listing at least 8 things you love about your life.
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Until next month....
The measure of competence is not in how well you handle a crisis, but how you manage the daily incessant challenges of ordinary life.