Boy oh boy! It's hard work staying on top of one's mental health when all around is cold and snow. And I'm not talking about small stuff! The temperatures for the past 3 weeks have averaged -17 Celcius (approx 1 degree Fahrenheit). Today is -15 with a windchill factor which brings the temperature down to -31 C (-23 F). In these temperatures, even road salt doesn't always do its job; the roads are greasy-feeling beneath one's studded tires (law here in NL).
As well, here on the west coast of Newfoundland, the snow doesn't stop falling: I mean really! It snows every single day! It's not always a lot of snow; and we get days with periods of beautiful sunshine (but never a full day of sun). And those periods of sun are usually followed by periods of grey skies and blowing snow. And then there are the snow squalls which can be pretty terrifying as they blow up unexpectedly. My 10-12 min journey home at the end of the day can contain a snow squall sandwiched between sunshine! Sure makes life interesting!
And while the rest of the world is talking daffodils and mud, we will still be talking snow for at least another month and a half. Oh dear! It's around this time of year that life becomes particularly difficult for me (and others, I presume). Cabin fever can be a reality even in the middle of a city!
So, how does one keep up one's spirit?
|Artwork by Mark Sheetey|
(Other than the dark hair, this picture could totally be my doughy-white arse crawling towards what I hope is a travel agent with a ticket to a hot country with free bar and room service!)
As I always mention, self-care is a huge part of how I get through these long winters. Even in the coldest of temperatures, I try to get outside each day, even if it's only to stand in the driveway for 5-10 minutes. I try to open my windows for a little every day to let in some fresh air: Mother Nature is so important. I remind myself of the blessings and advantages I have; I try to eat well; I have successful methods to de-stress. But it's almost always a decision I have to make daily to do what I can to keep my head above it all. And my living and spending most of my time alone with another 2 months of winter still ahead means I have to work extra hard. It can be exhausting.
But isn't it worth it? I mean, if the alternative is crying in the corner, rending my garments and gnashing my teeth, I'll choose laughter and dance every time.
So, here's to my fellow 'winter workers' who like me are fighting daily to be positive and optimistic .... or to just hang onto your branch .... but are doggedly crawling towards the light.
Hang in there, Babies. WE ARE WORTH IT!