Winter is just one of those things.
A lot of people just really don’t like it.
Or they say that the snow can be pretty, but only like, in a framed picture of a a log cabin in the mountains hanging over their fireplace while they watch movies on Netflix that take place in a tropical climate.
Which is pretty understandable, since admiring a winter scene from a non-freezing setting instead of actually having to live in winter on a day-to-basis is a completely different experience.
If you’re like me and always lived in a part of the world where it’s damn cold and damn snowy from early November to around the first half of April, you probably notice every year that winter always gets a lot more flack than summer does.
Ever year, I start to hate winter a little more.
And I blame it on getting older.
I never used to hate it — in fact I loved it as a kid (and honestly what kid doesn’t?) — and I figure that only true way to fall completely back in love with winter (at least for me) would be to get a time machine and become a kid again.
Nothing beats being a kid when it’s winter.
Unfortunately, due to the way the world currently works at the moment, time travel isn’t possible yet.
But that’s not an issue, because I figure there are different ways to learn to embrace winter on a day-to-day basis, even when you’re freezing your butt cheeks off every day for five months straight.
This is kind of an extension of my previous blog post, how to turn misery into happiness.
Make a list of everything you hate about winter.
Seriously, grab a pen and paper or open up an Excel spreadsheet on your laptop and just go crazy writing down everything, small and big, that makes you want to sell everything you own and move to Fiji.
For example, some of mine would include:
- I hate driving during rush hour with other insane people who don’t have snow tires
- I hate feeling like I’m inside way too much
- I hate hardly ever seeing the sun
- I hate salt stains on my expensive boots
- I hate my general laziness because I feel like there’s nothing to do and no reason to go out
Chances are that everything you listed is pretty unavoidable, or at least hard to change.
Beside everything you listed, write the exact opposite of it.
Yes, it will sound insane.
Allow me to demonstrate:
- I love driving during a snowstorm with the crazies during rush hour!
- I love staying inside all the time!
- I love that it’s dark all the time!
- I love salt stains all over my expensive boots!
- I love being lazy and never doing anything because it’s winter!
I know you think I’m going nowhere with this (either that or I’m drunk).
But the first step is positive reinforcement.
Let’s face it, too many of us think negative thoughts by default.
You don’t even realize it.
A blizzard when I gotta drive to work??! Ughhghghghhhhhhhhghh.
Disgusting muddy slush seeping into my new Gucci boots?? ARRRGHHghghhh.
No more new stuff to watch on Netflix and nothing else to do???!??! WAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH.
Sadly, I know too many people who react this way.
Writing the exact opposite of your complain to turn it into some positive helps change your thinking and opens you up to new ways to deal with things that are hard in life.
Writing a negative experience as a positive one doesn’t change what I think about it!
So you may not think right away, but you are indeed training your brain to alter the way you think about stuff.
If you do this regularly, and read the positive interpretations out loud, I can almost guarantee that you’ll be LESS negative about it and a little more positive about it, eventually.
Now, the second part of this exercise that’ll help it make more sense…
Write down some things you can do to make those positive experiences a reality.
No it’s not and I’ll show you how.
You’re going to have to keep an open mind and do some brainstorming here.
Let’s take my first example of loving the drive through a snowstorm with the idiots who drive recklessly and make it all the more worse by not having snow tires.
Let’s be real for a minute — no one loves this.
But there are things you can do to change it so you can make it a much more positive experience.
Can you work from home during bad weather?
That would surely get rid of the whole driving problem right there, and some employers are fine with it, but if yours isn’t, we’ll have to look at some other options.
Can you leave for work earlier or later than everyone else to avoid the traffic?
Can you take an alternate route that’s less treacherous?
Can you download some cool audiobooks to listen to on your drive?
I don’t know about you, but a winter drive through a scenic route during off-peak driving hours with an interesting audio book about self improvement sounds kind of relaxing and enjoyable if you ask me.
And if you’re someone who rarely gets any alone time with a busy job and crazy family at home, you can treat your commute as a much-needed break or downtime from your hectic life.
What about loving the salt and slush in my Gucci boots?
That’s just dumb.
Ummm… what about using that as an awesome excuse to go out and buy some actual waterproof boots that are fashionable too?
Winter suddenly doesn’t seem quite as bad anymore, does it?
Do this for all the negative turned positive things on your list.
Just go nuts figuring out all the ways you can make that positive statement as true as possible.
And finally, the last step:
The exercise was not meant to be written down once and then forgotten.
Don’t expect to rekindle your love for winter weather again if you don’t implement the strategies you brainstormed.
Also, don’t expect this to be easy either.
Your mind may revert back to hating everything about the cold and snow, especially on really bad days.
It’s up to you to revisit your list or even redo this exercise to fix that.
Winter isn’t meant to be hated, and it’s a shame that society made it to be this way.
EMBRACE THE SNOWY, FROZEN WAY OF LIFE, MY FRIENDS.
Either do it, or just be miserable.
It’s your choice.
Photo via Michael Gil
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- What everyone gets wrong about “being authentic” - July 3, 2016
- 7 eye-opening ways to forget about your goals so you can let happiness flow - June 20, 2016
- Why you won’t do all the things you want to do this summer - June 13, 2016
- 50 everyday things you can give up to make time for more important stuff - April 30, 2016
- How to go from waking up miserable to exhilarated every morning - April 18, 2016
- How to align your mind to get exactly what you want - April 3, 2016
- Why we’re so bad at sticking to good habits (and what to do about it) - March 19, 2016
- 6 useful tips for dealing with an all-around bad day - June 30, 2015