Ways to Weather Winter
by Diane Stortz
Do you struggle with winter’s cold, gray days? Long stretches of sunless days certainly challenge this grew-up-in-California girl! My energy and mood both suffer, and if I grump about the weather, I make others unhappy too. But I’ve learned some techniques to help me get through—and maybe even enjoy—winter weather.
- Sunlight matters. Get outside, even on cloudy days, even for just five minutes. Sunlight taken in by our eyes triggers the release of the hormone serotonin, which helps regulate mood. Indoors, try a broad-spectrum lamp that mimics sunlight. I keep mine on the desk where I write.
- Move. Physical exercise and mood are connected too. Both aerobic and strength training are effective. Are you snowbound with small children? Put on some music and dance or march together around the house.
- Connect. Feeling isolated amplifies winter discontent, so find ways to connect with others. Volunteer. At work, take a few moments to encourage a colleague. Get a gym membership. I joined an exercise class filled with friendly people.
- Rely on Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Paul said he had learned the secret of being content both when he had plenty of material provisions and when he was in need. These words from Paul aren’t so much about how to accomplish a task but how to be content whatever our circumstances.
Why not join me and make the effort to be content this winter by relying on the power and strength our Savior, Jesus, willingly gives us if we just ask?
Seasonal Affective Disorder can cause serious depression. Reach out to your physician or a mental health professional for additional information and help if you are at risk.
Diane Stortz is a multi-published author who writes to make God’s wonders known to the next generation. Her newest releases are Stop-and-Go Devotions: 52 Devotions for Busy Parents and I AM: The Names of God for Little Ones, both from Tommy Nelson. Diane and her husband have two married daughters and five young grandchildren—all boys! Visit her at www.DianeStortz.com.