I’ll Deal with Winter – in the Winter

We have reached mid-October.  Although well into the PSL season (which seemed to start forever ago), technically autumn is in its earliest stages.  Outside my window, summer’s sunny skies have been absent for quite a spell but the leaves have barely begun to show their colors.  Evenings are cool – hooray for sweater weather! – but days are still warm.  And I’m totally okay with all of that.  I love my sweaters in the evening but I am still trying to soak in all the sunshine I can because I know what lies right around the corner.

Winter.  My complete nemesis.  While I am definitely not a fan of snow, it is the super short days and the fleeting hours of sunlight that really make winter extra miserable for me.  And each year I seem to struggle more and more as the winter drags on far too long into March and April.  Just thinking about it makes me anxious.  I’ve noticed that as well.  I seem to deal with anxiety much more the older that I get.  You would think experience would be my friend.  Would make me better equipped and able to deal with the things that truly make my soul unwell.  Like dark days – literal and figurative.  But, in truth, extra years and life experience seem to simply remind me (or mock me) of what lies ahead.

Of course, I don’t know all that lies ahead.  I might know that winter is coming.  But I don’t know what this winter holds in store.  I don’t even know what tomorrow holds.  But anxiety is deceptive like that – allowing me the create possible scenarios and “what if” moments and then embrace them, and mentally “deal” with them, as if they are real.   That said, anxiety is something of a new battle that I fight.  And I am trying to be preemptive with it before this next season envelopes us.

Much of the battle is fought in my own head.  So much.  Anxiety goes to a whole new level through my “self-talk.”  Oh, the things I say in my head.  I need much more prayer talk than self-talk.  I need praise to saturate my thoughts.  I need to retrain my thoughts to naturally gravitate toward God and God’s word.  To meditate on His character and His promises.  To rehearse His faithfulness and place my confidence there rather than on my ability to manipulate and/or control whatever may or may not be in the future.

This post is in no way an easy fix for anxiety.  It really is not as much about anxiety as simply my disdain for winter – which, sadly, has lately captured my thoughts.  “It’s right around the corner,” I seem to remind myself nonstop.  I love fall.  I really do.  But I am relinquishing my joy for today – for this season – while I focus on the next one.  The madness of that was behind my thoughts today.  Not only am I refusing to focus on tomorrow – but I am embracing today.  Enjoy all that is beautiful, refreshing and soul-satisfying about autumn.  I might even enjoy a pumpkin spice latte.  Ok, maybe not.  But you get the idea!  Here’s to a beautiful day!

7 thoughts on “I’ll Deal with Winter – in the Winter

  1. Jennifer, I’m one of the weird souls who loves the shortening days (working on a blog post about that right now). I certainly understand how you feel, though, because I didn’t always feel this way. For years, I struggled with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and I absolutely dreaded the diminished sunlight. Awhile back, though, I began taking Zoloft for anxiety and depression. It keeps me balanced, and it has made the darkness not only doable, but wonderful for me. That said, when my daughter was in the hospital giving birth 2 weeks ago, I had a major anxiety attack. Even with medication, anxiety was right there under the surface, reminding me that I can still fall apart. Thankfully, though, those days are few and far between now. Not sure if you are open to medication, but if you are, I recommend Zoloft.

    1. Oh, I am so sorry about your anxiety while at the hospital! How exciting, though, that you were close by when that grandbaby arrived! I hope everyone is doing well!! Any pictures:)

  2. I completely understand your feeling of dreading winter…I’m not one who dislikes winter, but I would say you’re in the average with most people. I don’t know many people who love winter. It’s so important to keep up with meeting with people in those months, I’m sure…I think seclusion would make it even worse.

    I do have other things I deal with and for that reason, I’ve decided the next time I struggle with it, I’m going to see a counselor. We have this mega church near my town that offers FREE Christian counseling as a ministry. Isn’t that amazing? They’re licensed counselors, but it’s one hundred percent free and offers complete anonymity. They’re offering it over Zoom right now, too, which is the best of both worlds. I feel like most of us should be seeing a Christian counselor. Not even kidding! I love your transparency, friend. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

  3. I feel the same way about winter. I dread those short, cold, darker days spent cooped up inside. I did make more of an effort to buy GOOD, warm gear and try to get outside last winter and that seemed to help some. I also start taking lots of vitamin-D and try to put the coming of winter out of my mind for as long as I can. I just love fall and wish it lasted much longer.

    1. Definitely going to up my daily Vitamin D – thanks for the reminder and suggestion!! Hanging on (super tightly) to fall over here!!:)

  4. Bless you. I cannot imagine struggling through winter into March and April. Heavens! I do love snow and can tolerate the cold weather necessary for it to snow but I don’t like the shorter, darker days, either. PC appreciates that we have no need for a snow shovel in El Paso and has said he will never return to Ohio winters.
    Hope something will change this winter for you. Not sure what that would look like other than maybe a shortened season? Or a milder winter. My mom struggles with something similar to seasonal affective disorder. We bought her an SAD lamp but she didn’t understand what it was. Seemed like a good idea!

    1. I’m looking forward to a day when I run over my snow shovel with a truck – and never need to replace it! HA. A bit dramatic, maybe…but I will not miss snow (if I ever get somewhere warm and perpetually sunny!!)

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