The changing seasons tend to have a significant impact not just on our mood, but also our actions. As a native east coaster, I personally enjoy the moody grey days, and I welcome the cold in like an old, loving friend. I appreciate the way in which the colder months encourage me to hibernate, to rest, to seek warmth, and to reconnect with my immediate environment. I don’t mind a good excuse to draw the blinds, cuddle up with a cup of tea, get lost in a good book, or watch an intriguing movie. As the cold settles in outside, I notice my priorities, thoughts and emotions begin to shift on the inside.
While the winter begins to set in, take notice of how the change in the air, the temperature, the barren trees, all impact you. It is not uncommon for many of us notice a sense of melancholy; perhaps we’re more agitated or angry, or maybe we feel more sadness and hopelessness. Sometimes we may even notice our body feels more achy, more stiff and tired. Very often, these feelings can be effectively managed, although other times the weight of mental and physical discomfort can feel relentless and fierce. When we begin to lose touch with our purpose, and begin to struggle to find meaning around us, we may want to consider how we can begin to refocus and re-evaluate. It may be possible to learn how to move with the changes of the seasons, rather than against.
Learning to accept the things I can not change… this has been a tough lesson.
I often wrestle with trying to distinguish between what I can and can’t change. But what I do know, is that I cannot change the seasons, I cannot change the weather, and I cannot expect Mother Nature to bend to my will or wants. So, instead of trying to change what is impossible, I am trying to learn how to lean into the ups and downs that I experience as we move through seasons. One way I do this is to remind myself that this feeling or discomfort is momentary; this day, and this season is not permanent. As winter came, so will spring, and so it goes. While winter is here, I try to appreciate the lack of pressure to do anything but seek warmth and comfort, to look for nourishment and to enjoy rest. Of course, some days this is not possible, and circumstances for some of us mean that being outside, in the cold winter, is inevitable and necessary. When in this position, I have found that meaningfully engaging with nature in the moment, finding that sliver of sun to warm my face, or taking note of the moody sky above me, I am able to reconnect with nature on Her terms, not necessarily mine. I begin to appreciate Her changes. Learning to accept this has been humbling and powerful… and it has also helped me to appreciate some of those seasonal blues.
There is something to be found in the dark as much as there is to be found in the light.
Sometimes the loss of one sense helps the other senses improve by overcompensating. Winter, the darker months, the cold, reminds us of how both harsh and beautiful this world can be, and that this can exist simultaneously. When we choose only to see the sad and ugly, we rob ourselves of the opportunity to reconnect with the inherent beauty that surrounds us. The leaves fall so they can grow again – when fall comes back, they give us a magnificent show of yellows and oranges just before they blow away again in the winter breeze. All this holds beauty and purpose, and reminding ourselves to re-focus on that which brings us delight will help us to accept and embrace all that is moody and temperamental.
Samantha Camerino (she/her) is the owner of Nomad Therapy Services. She uses a “Person in Environment” approach, addressing not just the individual, but also exploring the environmental, societal and historical components that may be impacting self-growth. She has nearly a decade of experience working with persons struggling with an array of challenges such as depression, anxiety, anger, low self-esteem, trauma, et. al. Currently, Samantha conducts sessions in the office or online, and she also encourages ‘walk & talks’ and meeting in outdoor settings. If you are interested in learning more about the Nomad approach, visit her website at www.nomadtherapyservices.com or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.