The winter season can compound the difficulty of managing grief. The shorter and darker days of winter decrease the sunlight we experience and this can impact our mood. The feelings of grief may intensify for no other reason than the decreased vitamin D we are getting from the sun. Here are a 5 ways to help you combat the darker days of the winter season.
One of the key ways to combat grief is to remain active. Outdoor activities tend to decrease for many of us who live in the northern regions of the U.S. Finding ways to exercise and to just get out of the house can be difficult. Here are a few suggestions about how to stay active during the winter: swim regularly at a local pool; walk at one of the schools or malls in your area that are open for walkers, use a computer or tv to do exercises with a DVD or Youtube video, ski, skate, or snowmobile.
Second, it is important to avoid isolation. So find a way to be involved with the community. Some ways to participate in a community are to join a book club either online or in person, visit your local library, participate in free classes offered throughout the community, and volunteer with your favorite organization.
Third-get away! Yes, plan a vacation and getaway to warmer places. The anticipation and fun of planning the vacation and then the actual vacation can add great joy to your life and help overcome the winter blues.
Fourth, plan an activity for you and your friends. Take the lead in planning a shopping expedition, a visit to a local attraction, or a party. Be creative and push out of your comfort zone. The rewards of being with friends and experiencing something new will be worth it.
The fifth and final suggestion for ways to beat winter grieving is to challenge yourself to try something new. Perhaps you could challenge yourself to try a new, recipe once a week from January 1st through the end of February. Invite a friend or family members to join you to taste test your creations and enjoy the food and company. Another idea would be to challenge yourself to learn a new skill or craft, write a book, or perhaps even to paint a landscape.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions will help you this winter. There is no reason to be locked into your grief during the winter. Grieving comes and goes in waves so find what works for you to help move through the grieving and healing process.