How to Make the Winter Season Work for You

In my coaching practice, I hear it time and time again:

Ugh, it’s wintertime. It’s cold and dark…and I feel stuck!

Entering into the winter season can bring up a lot of fear, anxiety, and struggle for you if you “fight” against it. Most of us are naturally drawn to the energy and feel of spring or summer – these are times when the weather is nice, there is plenty of light out, people are feeling sociable and energetic, and they’re very excited about the renewal and growth happening in the natural world (and then mirrored in their own lives).

Winter, on the other hand, can be seen as a really tough time of year when projects are suspended, enthusiasm is low, and things move very slowly. However, if you can honor that winter is supposed to have a different energy, feel and look from the spring, summer or even autumn, then the dark season can become a beautiful time of rest, renewal and creativity.

The trick is to be able to understand and honor that the wintertime, and the lessons and experiences it brings, are just as important as the summertime lessons and experiences.

Here are a few ways to make your winter experience work for you:

  1. Remember that resting is essential to your well-being and your success. The shorter and darker days of the winter naturally invite us to get cozy, stay home, and sleep more. Instead of fighting against this natural rhythm and viewing rest time as a mere delay of your productivity, take the perspective that getting some much needed rest can only help you feel better. When you feel better, you’ll be able to pump higher energy and intention into your projects and into your life.
  2. Honor your inner experience as much as your outer actions. A true gift that the colder and shorter days bring is time to tune into your inner experience. In today’s world, we are often so focused on outer progress and action we forget how essential inner connection and understanding is to our outer success. Use the opportunity of those cold, dreary days or evenings to stay in – instead of forcing yourself to go out – and connect to your inner wisdom. You can journal, draw, read a nurturing book, meditate, or do anything else that helps you feel more connected to your inner self.
  3. Trust the fact that great creativity happens in the dark. Think about it: we do our dreaming at night, in the dark. Therefore, it makes sense that the wintertime holds a wealth of potential for creativity, new ideas, and opportunity for reinvention. The long, warm days of summer are perfect times to execute your great plans and ideas, but the wintertime provides you with fertile soil for snuggling up, connecting to your inner wisdom, and visioning what you would like to do for the coming year. All great successes are based on beautiful visions that come from giving time and space for creativity.
  4. Honor that sometimes less is more. If we observe nature during this time of year, we see clearly that the natural world gets on with less: less leaves on the trees, less harvest, less sunlight, less food, less warmth. Mother Earth knows the inherent truth that there are times when it is necessary to be “barebones” in order to rest, transform, and regenerate. So often in today’s culture, we get caught up in the illusion that we always need things to be bigger and more abundant. That belief causes much pain and grief. How might you stand to benefit from honoring the simplicity of “less” this winter season?

I simply delight in the wonderful teachings and lessons Mother Nature has to offer us every day if we take the time to open our ears and listen. Winter can hold enormous beauty and meaning, amidst the coldness and the darkness. I hope you enjoy this winter season, and use it to strengthen yourself from the inside out, so when springtime comes around again, you are fully prepared to step out and be bold!

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