Stepping out of Winter 

The last week offered just a glimmer that the winter is giving up its grip and the spring sun is tentatively breaking through. It is only when I feel the first warm rays of the sun that I realize how much I have missed it! Like a bear waking up from a long winters’ hibernation I begin to shake the sleep out of my head.

This year, like so many others, I nearly bought a SAD lamp. I even got to the point to staring through the window on my local Maplin at an ‘affordable’ version on a particularly dark and dreary February afternoon. Why didn’t I buy? I honestly don’t know. I guess something told me that the season was about to change, and possibly because I went out to buy a fan there in the last heatwave and the next day it rained!

For those of us who struggle with the winter blues, spring is a deep relief but it is also something of a shock. When the seasonal gears shift is easy to feel surprised by how low you have gotten without even knowing it. I guess it is a bit like having your blood pressure taken at the doctors, expecting her to pat you on the back in congratulation, but instead having her look anxiously at you and ask you if you have been feeling particularly stressed recently.

I found myself crying in my supervisors office on Monday, completely out of the blue, or completely 'out of winter', I should say. “Oh” I said, “I guess I got lower than I thought.” I was running in the park and I got quite emotional just looking at the daffodils. “Pull yourself together,” I told myself. The fact is that relief makes us feel emotional. If you have been holding your breath for three months, taking a fresh breath is quite an unsettling moment.

Here are a few steps that I have found support the seasonal transition:

  1. 1) Be patient: winter gives way to spring slowly. Take the good days, don’t stress the bad ones.
  3. 2) Try to journal through the transition, pay attention to your feelings of loss or surprise.
  5. 3) Talk and walk. Go with a trusted friend. Enjoy and reflect upon the signs on new life.
  7. 4) Stretch and breath every day, both morning and evening.
  9. 5) Pray that God would breath new life into dry bones. 

Will Van Der Hart, 16/03/2016
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