My Dark Winter Secret
The winter blues…
I LOVE New Year’s.
New plans, new ideas, dreams and vision.
And I especially love the feeling of moving towards days filled with more sunlight.
Because let me tell you, I am R-E-A-L-L-Y not at my best in the dark and cold winter days.
One could say that I’m like a reptile who needs a heating lamp to be able to function…
If someone filmed me I’m pretty sure they would discover that my movements get slower in this darkness.
I’mmmm just joking! ;o)
Every year, I suffer from the winter blues.
And at this time of the year, I count the minutes every afternoon when I notice the days getting longer and my energy is slowly but steadily starting to increase.
(It doesn’t take many extra minutes of light every day before I start feel the effect – that’s HOW MUCH I long for light!)
I wasn’t always aware of how big an impact my winter blues had on my family and my relationship.
It was a living hell!
I was sour, grumpy and snappy.
And on top of that I beat my head against the wall by berating myself for being such a sour mother, a bad girlfriend etc.
And I finally realised that it was time to get a grip!
Know the feeling?
I didn’t come to this realisation until I started intentionally working on myself about 12 years ago and it became apparent that this was just how I functioned.
It’s ok, that I’m one of the many many people who is negatively affected by the darkness of winter and whose energy level drops significantly because of it.
It makes me a sour “Grumpy Ol’ lady”.
That’s how I AM.
That’s how my brain reacts to less sunlight.
That’s how my body reacts to the cold, the wind, ice and snow.
It’s a part of me just as much as my right arm!
I can accept it or not. I chose to accept and acknowledge it.
What you don’t acknowledge and accept in your life, you cannot change!
You simply cannot work constructively with something you won’t acknowledge and accept is actually happening!
So that was my first step?
Accept and acknowledge that I’m “one of those people” who’s affected by the winter blues.
That was a tough pill to swallow!
And it took me a number of days to chew on it before the acknowledgement settled in COMPLETELY.
It’s okay Maj.
You’re still “good enough, even though you’re not perfect.”
I remember it very clearly even though it happened so many years ago.
But what was NOT OK for me, was that I took my little family hostage all winter long.
It was one thing that my behaviour sucked but another thing entirely to assume responsibility for it!
So I started taking even better care of “me.”
Because I couldn’t move to a warm sunny place, my solution became self care and self love.
Let me tell you, it was TOUGH in the beginning.
Tough because up until then I had always put others needs ahead of mine.
Some of ways for me to look after myself first was to go to bed earlier (get more sleep).
Then slow down when the darkness settled in and watch more crime tv shows (relax my mind).
I focused on eatomg fewer sweets (stable blood sugar levels and less irritation).
Delegate house chores even more…
Schedule fewer social outings etc.
All in all, I had to take as good care of my self as I would my little sister or my kids if they felt the way I did.
And it helps.
Simple solutions? Yes.
Almost too simple? Yes.
But it works!
I’m still tired…
But since I have accepted and acknowledged that it’s a part of life for me, I am also able to deal with it head-on and make the necessary arrangements to look after myself and consequently become a better partner and mother.
The acceptance and acknowledgment is not easy and I still need to work at it.
I see couples struggle with this all the time.
Where instead of figuring out the core of the problem so they can start working towards a solution, they keep on having many conflicts over and over again about the same little annoying things.
Where partners constantly bicker, blaming each other when the desire is gone, when someone forgot to get groceries, when someone forgot to feed the dog, and on and on.
We haven’t learned to sit down and figure out what on earth is really going on.
And then start finding solutions.
Constructively and calmly start to eradicate the issues, one by one.
We haven’t learned to do this!
I hadn’t learned it.
And you probably haven’t been taught either. But I promise you it works if you do it.
Now I’m not saying that you’ll become happy happy over the course of 9 days in four easy steps!
But step by step you clear out, clean up and figure out what works and all of a sudden there’s more calm, energy, time and love (and time to sleep and take care of yourself, if you get tired in the winter like me).
Exercise to get rid of winter blues + finding the core of other issues
So, do you currently have something in your life that’s bothering you?
Where you have a hard time accepting and acknowledging that it is an issue?
Something you need to get to the core of?
That you need to find good and constructive solutions for?
Take 5 minutes to sit down and brainstorm and write down bullet points on things you’d really like to get a grip on in the next winter and next year.
Then you need to prioritise them!
Ask yourself: What’s the core and essence of this issue? What is it really all about?
Once you have this list, you can take one at a time and try to figure out, try and evaluate potential solutions for each.
I wish you all the best on your journey.
Maj Wismann, Love Expert
I would LOVE to hear about your experiences with lack of energy in the winter or even the winter blues
– if you have any good advice, tips or tricks to share, then please shoot me a comment
I can totally relate to this post. I’m suffering right now from SAD- Seasonal Affective Disorder. I live in VT where the winters are long and there’s a lot of cold gray days lately. I get exhausted, grouchy and anxious during this time- happens every year. I’m taking Vitamin D, calcium, st. Johns’ wort and use a special “happy light”. Sitting under it right now! Still, sometimes you just feel tired and so today I took the day off, slept late and now enjoying connecting with you.
Thank you SO much for your response 🙂 I can tell you, that here in Denmark we have had the longest, darkest winter E-V-E-R. All my friends have this year been under the influence by the winter darkness, and I have actually talked to one who said that now he really understood what I was going through every winter.
Do I have to say, that it is WONDERFUL that the days now are 3 hours longer and the sun is showing itself more and more 😉
Good to hear that you are taking good care of your self 🙂 I think it´s the only thing we can do <3