Long winter effect

I’ve written several posts now about winter in this region, since that is the season we’re going through right now. Some of the topics were optimistic, like my appreciation for snow or how I can still go for a nice walk in cold temperatures. I’ve also written about the unpleasant emotional effects harsh winter can have on a person. Well, it’s time to return to the topic yet again.

Last time was near the beginning of the winter, when the bitter cold was just setting in. After a while, though, you do acclimate to the temperature, and the effect is not quite so strong. You also get used to spending more time inside. Then when a spell in the 30s (–1° to 4°C) comes along, as we had recently, it’s actually quite pleasant to be outside, especially when the wind’s low and the sun is shining.

Photo credit: Larry Koester

But, inevitably, the sub-zero (sub –17°C) temperatures return, and the snow returns, and the clouds return, and the wind returns. At that point, you start to feel less of how cold the winter is, and more of just how long a winter it’s been. You can feel just how starved your skin is for sunlight, how restless your spine gets from excessive sitting, how deadened your scent-memory is from only smelling indoor spaces.

When I started this post, I was worried it would just be a lot of complaining, but I’m feeling optimistic after writing out that last sentence. When I’m in the slog of these endless winter days, it’s easy to feel like my life is unfocused and going nowhere, regardless of what I actually have going on. So it’s good for me to remind myself that just getting to the spring without falling into a small depression is a worthwhile task to apply myself to.

Do you struggle with long winters? Do you struggle with some other prolonged season? Do you have any strategies for thriving in such conditions? Let me know your thoughts at my Ctrl-C email: gome ​@ ​ctrl-c.club.