As someone who thrives in warmer weather, February is not my favorite. You'd think it would be a piece of cake, being the shortest month. But it's all I can do to keep my head down and plow through the weeks.
I think most people feel it. The cabin fever, the need to feel the sun on bare skin, the need to dig into the earth. This winter has been especially gloomy, being warmer and cloudy in Wisconsin. Maybe you're like me and your surroundings affect your mood. With maybe five days of sunshine out of every three weeks or so, it's been tough to feel like myself.
"Just keep swimming," Dory says. Easy for you to say Dory. No offense, but you forget what you're thinking every five minutes.
Maybe you don't like to feel big emotions, maybe you like to hide from them and pretend nothing is wrong. There are people like that. I am definitely not one of them. I like to feel big emotions. While watching a movie, I am fully absorbed into every word so I can soak up what they are trying to portray. While worshipping my Lord Jesus in song, which, if you know me, is one of my most favorite things, I prefer not to be interrupted because I am fully in that zone. I place myself into the words of the song. Being this person of deep emotions, I encourage you to let yourself feel what is on your mind. These winter blues? Don't hide, in fact, take the opportunity to allow yourself a moment's peace. Take the moment to take care of yourself. Process what you're feeling.
I thought I would list out some things to do to take care of yourself during this season. And maybe I'm speaking more to myself than anyone, and listing out these things again refreshes my mind as well.
- Pray. This is a no brainer. God's ear is always tuned into his sparrows.
- Bundle up and take a walk. God's creation truly is beautiful, even if you don't like being cold.
- Make a cup of tea, hot chocolate, or coffee. Wrap your fingers around that mug and breathe.
- I find essential oils to be very helpful. Lately I'm drawn to very grounding oils, such as Frankincense, Abundance, Northern Lights Black Spruce, Bergamot, Cedarwood... very earthy smells. I like to diffuse them, apply them to my wrists and neck, or even just inhale them straight from the bottle. Oils have the ability to help with emotions because once you inhale them, the olfactory system in your brain is triggered, which is connected to your limbic system, so they help trigger emotional release.
- Turn on some calming music. I have an eclectic taste in music, but mostly I love me some good worship music, that I can turn my heart to God and sing. Another route I love to go is more of a folksy genre. Think music from "This is Us". It's usually pretty lighthearted, sometimes a bit emotionally charged, therefore can help you tune into what you're feeling.
- Call up a friend. The idea for this post came from one of my dear friends, Sarah P., who I can always count on to be able to open up and tell how I'm feeling without judgement. Telling another human what you're feeling is so freeing, because just putting it into words can make a huge difference.
- Plan. This one is one I'm currently doing. Make your plans for spring. We are planning on not only expanding our gardens this year, but also adding chickens to the roster. I grew up with chickens, so it isn't new to me, but it'll be a first for our family. We are planning on building a greenhouse and chicken coop, so I'm busy looking into what flowers I want to grow around the greenhouse. I usually am fly by the seat of my pants, but I think that planning and getting my head into the space I need it to to get those things accomplished helps tremendously. It keeps me busy and also gives me something to look forward to.
- Take a hot bath. Better yet, add epsom salts + oils to it. The epsom not only gives you magnesium that the majority of the population is deficient in, but it also helps the essential oils disperse into the water and not just sit on the top. And again, oils can help release emotional patterns. Very relaxing.
It's not too long, folks. We can do this. Spring is almost here!