And so the dreariness continues. It seeps into my everyday and the weight of it bears down on me. These winter days are harsh, unrelenting, unpredictable, and exhausting. We don’t have the cold, bright blue skies and glistening snow to be able to go outside and enjoy the season – no snow forts, no snow angels, no tobogganing… as I quoted in my previous post “the sky is grey and white and cloudy, sometimes I think it’s hanging down on me.” (Simon & Garfunkel) It has never felt more true than in these past few months.
After having the courage to write my post Cloudy and admit that I am not doing well, I then let the emotions simmer within; and by finally acknowledging the cloudiness within me, I was able to find coping strategies that have helped me along in these past 10 days. I thought I would share them with you:
1. Music. I keep the TV off and turn my stereo on. In my turntable you will find the poetic songs of Simon & Garfunkel, Coldplay, Jack Johnson, Nora Jones… to name a few. Their music lifts me, moves me, takes me to the far reaches of my imagination, and sparks memories buried within. It carries me through the darkness of the day, and from their melodic harmonies, I feel comforted.
2. Candles. Back in the autumn, when I was preparing for hygge I found a most amazing candle. It smells of Fraser Fir – bringing the fresh smell of winter firs indoors – and it crackles when it burns. So if you close your eyes and let your body and mind be still, the sound (and smell) of the candle creates an aura of peace and warmth [by a fireside]. It calms me; and because it is a slow-burning candle it will last me the whole season!
3. Throws and Pillows. I unearthed my throw from deep within my closet, and piled pillows in the roomy corner of my sectional. And there, on these quiet, bleak afternoons I burrow a little nook for myself; and once I am nestled into my little den of comfort it is very difficult to leave. I feel safe.
4. Journal. In my little nook, in the corner of my sectional, under the warmth of my reading lamp I journal. It may only be a page, or merely a paragraph, it does not matter. I get my thoughts out of my head and onto paper where they can rest – so that I can rest. Journalling has always helped me to focus my mind and release my emotions without risk of judgement or hurting myself or someone else. They are the thoughts I often want to speak but never say.
5. Latte. Nestled in my burrow, with my pillows, my throw, my music, my candles, and my journal, my latte is the final necessity for creating a warm, enticing atmosphere. It is my adult version of a child’s hot chocolate (minus the marshmallows). The frothy hot milk laced with rich espresso focuses my mind, calms my anxieties, warms my body, and lulls me into relaxation. My latte is my sunshine in a mug.
And so the dreariness, though it continues, will not bring me further down into the depths of it’s murky despair. I have strategies to help me cope – to create an ambiance of comfort, warmth, and safety. And I have my sunshine…
Coping Through. Published by Crystal Joy Hall