Many people find the winter nights are cold and it is a difficult time, psychologically. There is a collapse in the opportunities available, especially under the current restrictions that we have to live with. With the days short, cold and wet, the chances to meet friends are limited, opportunities for exercise are curtailed and many people are ‘stuck indoors’, bored and wanting for distraction.
Even the winter nights are cold and the weather itself can have a dramatic effect. The shortening days can create a condition known as SAD – Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a medically recognised form of depression spurred on by the reduced daylight, that can make winter and a challenging and miserable season for sufferers.
Recent writing has suggested we can improve our psychological response to the long winter ahead by thinking more like people in countries that endure even longer, darker winters than our own. Rather than focusing on the opportunities lost as the weather gets colder, we can think about the unique opportunities that the winter brings with it. Today we’re helping you through the end of autumn by looking at some things to look forward to this winter.
Cold, dark evenings when you can’t leave the house, and don’t want to, are a great time to practise craft hobbies or develop new ones! Whether it’s knitting, embroidery, cardmaking or any of the other dozens of options, you could spend the winter learning a new skill, and creating unique, personal gifts for friends or decorations for your own home. Getting busy with an embroidery hoop kit can distract you, and give you a real sense of achievement!
If you’re interested in pursuing some crafts this winter, think about setting up a crafting nook – maximise light, to help you make out fine details and work precisely, find a comfortable chair that will support your back as you work, and try to make sure you have storage for all the tools and materials that your craft brings with it.
If your options for outdoor recreation are limited, winter is a great time to catch up on your reading. The lack of temptations can help you develop a longer attention span for diving into novels, whether they’re classics you’ve always meant to read or new novels that have been stacking up in the course of the year.
If you’re missing social time with your friends, starting a winter book club can be a way to generate conversation for those Zoom calls.
Winter nights are cold and the weather might be inclement, but you shouldn’t give up on the outside world altogether. Admitting defeat means losing out on the crunch of frosty grass underfoot, the last brilliance of autumn colours in the trees, and then, as winter continues into January and February the first stirrings of buds and bulbs that give us hope for the oncoming spring.