Does anyone else get a bit flat in the second half of winter? January and February always seem like long months to me; no Christmas to look forward to, it’s still very cold and dark, money is a bit tight. Oh, and those New Year Resolutions are already losing their shine. It’s gets to this part of the year and I long for Spring to come.
But I have decided that I don’t want to wish my life away, I don’t even want to wish February away. So, I have made a plan to make the most and appreciate these winter months.
Here is how I am saying “No!” to the winter blues:
I’m embracing Hygge – Christmas is over but that’s no reason to stop enjoying and appreciating all things warm and cosy. There is still much pleasure to be had in a hot chocolate, a big blanket and a good book. I’m working my way through the lovely books I got for Christmas and I’m going to be wearing and loving my fluffy slippers for a few more weeks yet.
I’m replacing condemnation with conviction – Our church has just found a new Pastor – which is very exciting! When he came to preach last month he said something that really stuck with me. Whenever he talked about an area that could cause us to feel guilty, he would stop and say “This isn’t about condemnation, I don’t want you to be condemned, because there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, but I do want you to be convicted to the point of action.” It really struck me. Sometimes January brings guilt; diets failing, resolutions quickly broken, change is slow. But my new mantra is to replace condemnation with conviction. I don’t need to be beaten down by set backs, I just need to use them to motivate me to make the next step of change.
I’m going outside – Yes it is still cold and get’s dark early but winter is beautiful too. My morning drive to work these last two weeks have been perfectly timed to catch the sunrise. Last week, after a hard frost Orla and I went stomping on the frozen leaves in the park. She absolutely loved hearing the grass crunch under her wellies and I found myself catching her enthusiasm too. Plus even now, there are signs of Spring approaching, there are green shoots appearing in the garden and I’ve spotted my first crocus. Whatever the season, nothing lifts the spirits quite like nature.
I’m joining the de-clutter craze – Marie Kondo, anyone? After watching four episodes and seeing endless posts on Social Media about tidying up I have caught the bug too. I spent last Saturday sorting through all of our books and I have to say, it felt really good to have organised shelves and to get rid of three bags of books. You don’t have to do the whole house but picking some areas and having a good sort out gives you a great “job well done” feeling.
And that’s my plan for making the most of these last winter months. “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it” as the Psalm goes, and that is my plan too!