• Ready for Winter? Frank Healy, LPC

    People throughout much of the United States may remember the winter of 2014-2015. It brought many days of snow shoveling, driving through ice, snow, and slush, or missing time from work due to school closings for the kids who had the day off. Many experienced the stress and worry regarding the safety of loved ones.

    Psychologically, this type of winter is one of the toughest kinds to endure. For many folks whom live in the Boston area there was so much snow that houses were buried as the result of one storm after another. The weather was consistently cold in most areas of the United States. Consequentially, people felt that they never had a break from shoveling, hazardous driving, rearranging work schedules, making arrangements for the children, and high heating bills.

    There are coping tools that you can use to handle the frequent stressors of winter. The best way is to find activities that you enjoy. Listen to your favorite music, get a massage, call people and go out socially even if it is a hassle to put coats, gloves and boots on. When you stay in the house you do not get the benefits of sunlight and fresh air, and you do not feel connected to the world. This can lead to depression. Having houseplants and pets can be an antidote to depression. Read a book, meditate, or do anything that will get the blood flowing. All of these activities help to alleviate depression, anxiety, and anger.

    Many people outside of northern latitudes judge winter as a bad time. However, it is the judging itself that makes winter seem depressing. If you just accept the fact that it is now winter but the snow and the cold will end this can make it easier. You can look for things to like about winter that you don’t get during the rest of the year. For example, you could notice the way the snow and ice look on the ground and the tree branches. You can appreciate the exercise when shoveling and the good feeling you get when you have completed it. Some people actually like driving in snow because they feel like they are meeting a challenge and conquering. It is all contingent on how you view it.

    Planning the future is another way to make the winter easier. Many people plan their summer vacations while it is still wintertime. Then you have the rest of the winter to look forward to it.

    Don’t let the weather determine how happy or unhappy you will be.


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