Our northerly tilt away from sun only really lasts for a few months in the calendar – though this season seems to linger too long sometimes.  

Wherever you are, it’s probably a good guess that when you peek out the window today you may find the ground is covered with a blanket of snow. Billions of tiny snowflakes. I was reflecting on this as I watched the snow drift outside my window, thinking how a single snowflake makes such an extraordinary journey. Up close, a single snowflake crystal is quite unique and complex. Where they land on the ground depends on many factors: temperature, humidity, and the direction of the wind. 

According to an ancient proverb, “a snowflake never falls in the wrong place.” At Threads of Life, you are in the right place to find support and comfort from others who understand how difficult coping with a loss is at times. While each person’s path with grief is intricate and unpredictable, one could even say that grief and snowflakes have a lot in common – both are on a journey in search of a soft place to land.  That blanket of snow we have wrapped around us accumulates both one flake at a time and all at once like a blizzard. 

So, how does winter affect the way you cope with your loss?  Perhaps shorter days, lack of sunlight and cold weather add another layer, making some of us feel less motivation and energy. If this isn’t your favourite time of year here are 4 tips you can keep in mind to help beat the winter blues:

  1. Kick yourself outside for some fresh air. Being outdoors improves mental and physical well-being. If you are able to,  go for a walk, listen to the crisp sound of nature, or dust out the old lawn chair and sit outside for a few minutes.  
  2. Make time for a much-needed distraction. Change your pace to lift your mood. Listen to music, read a book, or work on a puzzle. Incorporate the things you love into small self-care activities to clear your mind clutter.
  3. Get regular sleep. When necessary take steps to reset your 24-hour biological clock if it seems off balance. To sleep well, we also need to consider: are we getting enough light during the day, exercise, too much caffeine, or restlessly counting sheep for hours at bedtime? Work on your daily routine by making slight changes to increase your energy during the day and get a better rest at night.   
  4. Stay Connected. Call, text, meet a friend, or join a FamiliesConnect workshop to be with others. Making social plans to look forward to can help prevent feeling isolated. 

And above all else, give your grieving self a break. It is normal to feel a touch of the winter blues. And remember that even on a chilly day you can still feel the warmth of the sun if you seek it out and just pause for a moment. 

Karen Lapierre Pitts
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