As I acclimate to the weather and energy of winter in South Dakota, I am observing how people are affected during these months. Settling into my wintery landscape has called for immense reflection.
How does scenery impact our minds and energy?
We move about our daily routines in all kinds of weather. Yet, winter seems to have a distinct effect on us – making us sad, lonely, depressed, or introverted. I find it fascinating how the change in temperature can alter our energy and spirit.
The winter months can create such gloom and haze in our lives. But, if we adjusted our mindset to allow for this to be a time of reflection, hibernation, and growth within ourselves, our entire outlook changes:
We no longer despise the frigid mornings and need to layer, every. single. day.
We no longer close ourselves off to being social and being immersed in new experiences.
We no longer focus on our unhappiness and wallow in that negativity.
Instead, we look forward to this time to focus inward, reenergize ourselves, and mentally prepare for the year ahead. One switch in our thought process and we become able to see the beauty in the colder temperatures.
As I observe people in winter, I feel such a sad energy. I see skeletons of who people once were, focusing on making it through until the weather is warmer to feel alive again.
In this wintery landscape for the first time, I wonder: will I be impacted the same way? Will the short days and long nights cause me to yearn for warmer weather? Will the cloudy and gloomy days make me miss the sun on my skin? Will I grow tired of seeing snow on the ground every morning and every night? These are questions asked out of fear and negativity, which beg not for answers but state the need for optimism.
We are all able to easily adjust to change if we focus on its importance: There is no growth without change. No matter how difficult or challenging a new experience may be, we must lean into those fears to allow ourselves to grow.
It is only in letting go of fear and negativity that we can open up a space within ourselves to practice self-care. In re-fueling our spirit, we can re-discover who we are and who we want to become; We can go deeper within ourselves to find more than answers to the questions we ask out of fear.