Santa and his elves might be happy toiling away in the North Pole, but you may be looking out your window and wishing away the snow. It’s hard to make it outside in frigid temperatures, and finding time to see the sun can be challenging when it disappears over the horizon so early in the evening. How do you make it until the days when you can lounge around in your swimwear in the summer sun? Change your mindset, and at least you’ll make it until March.
The town of Tromsø in northern Norway doesn’t see the sun from the end of November to the end of January, yet the residents have lower rates of seasonal depression than you would expect. Why? Because they celebrate the season instead of just trying to get through it.
A recent Fast Company article describes research that PhD student Kari Leibowitz conducted to find out why people in Tromsø weren’t more depressed all winter. The conclusion? In the winter, the town’s residents take advantage of community, warm clothing and seasonal festivals.
Studies show that practicing gratitude on a daily basis can improve your mental state. Instead of complaining about the winter weather, try thinking about why you’re grateful for it. Maybe you appreciate the fact that there’s no pressure to take advantage of the sunlight, so you can enjoy staying cozy indoors without the nagging feeling that you should be doing more. Perhaps you love curling up with a book and a chai latte, but the busy holiday season prevented you from doing anything relaxing and rejuvenating.
Take advantage of the weather to gather with friends over cocktails at a ski lodge. Use the change in seasons to give you a practical reason to create a new wardrobe. If you can shift your attitude toward grey skies and freezing temps, you can actually celebrate the winter as much as you do spring break.