Winter Doldrums or New Beginnings
The holidays are over. Friends and relatives have retreated to their own homes. Quiet settles in. The fireplace is glowing. I sit here sipping a glass of wine. Outside, the snow is gently falling covering everything with soft cover of white—so pristine, so beautiful. The branches of the trees are gently sloping from the weight of the newly fallen snow. I feel feelings of peace, contentment, and mellowness.
Some people may feel otherwise. They may feel stressed out from the holidays. They may have spent too much money. They may have argued with a family member or they may have been disappointed with a present. They may feel exhausted and don’t know how they will get through the long winter months ahead.
One thing is certain: Our thoughts determine our feelings. An event occurs. At that point we have a choice as to what meaning we will give that event. We have a choice as to whether we define it as positive, negative or somewhere in between—whether we will feel peaceful and contented and/or whether we will feel the winter doldrums. If we give the event a negative interpretation, and allow ourselves to dwell on the negative, we certainly will feel down in the dumps, sad, disappointed or plain out depressed. If we define the event as more positive, and dwell on the more positive aspects of our experiences, we will then feel more settled, and possibly more cheerful, about the winter months ahead.
2010 brings a new decade--A decade when we can set goals, make plans and choose New Beginnings. Couples can choose to enhance their relationship; siblings can opt to get along better with less arguing; we can choose to work together more collaboratively at the workplace.
Some Helpful Hints:
1. Pamper yourself during these months.
Get as much rest as possible. Do not ever underestimate the positive, healing and regenerative aspects of sleep.Eat properly. You may have gained a few pounds from too much eating over the holidays.
Start eating properly again—lots of vegetables, fruit, chicken and fish. You will be healthier by pampering your body with nutrients and you will feel better when you loose the couple pounds you may have gained.
Start an exercise regimen. Exercise will energize you and help you feel positive about yourself.
Surround yourself with positive people.
Positive energy is catchy and so is negative energy. People who are positive tend to pull you up and negative people pull you down. People who are positive motivate you and energize you. Negative people drain you of your energy. You can feel the positive and negative valence of people’s energy. Use your intuitions about people’s energy to add to your own energy, rather than drain you.
Keep and eye out for our upcoming Couples Weekend Getaway
2. Set new goals for yourself.
What would you like to accomplish in January, in February, in March, etc? Little goals—goals that are easy to accomplish. For example, sitting down with a good book may relax you. When you are reading, you may also feel content. Thus, the goal here would be to buy a book and start reading it. The global goal is to feel more content and relaxed. If you break down global goals into smaller, more manageable parts, theybecome very doable.
3. Explore Your Relationships.
Some questions you might ask yourself: Is this relationship giving me positive energy or is it draining me? Is this relationship adding to my relaxation and contentment or is it, more often than not, stressing me out? Do I feel happy in the presence of this person or am I annoyed most of the time?
Relationships that are negative and stressful are not healthy physiologically or psychologically. If it is a friendship you are examining, decide what type, if any, of relationship you can have with the person and confine or limit yourself to that type of relationship. A client decided she had a friend who was draining her of energy by being very argumentative. The client decided that while this friend could not be a very closegirlfriend, they did enjoy going to the movies together, so that became the basis of their interactions.
If it is a marriage or couple relationship that is stressful, then therapy might be in order.
It is up to you. Winter Doldrums or New Beginnings! The choice is yours.
The point of this discussion is that how we feel about something or someone is determined by the meaning we give to the situation or person. In addition, usually action around a discomfort is more useful than inaction. Complaining about something in your life is more stressful than doing something about it.