How many of you look at the beginning of a New Year and think that it is a wonderful time to make changes? New year… new you?
I recently had a conversation with a client who I am working with to reach her health and wellness goals. Our session started with my usual question of what was one great thing that happened over the previous week. She told me about an AHA moment she had the week before. Her AHA moment came to her as she was reflecting on why she had such difficulty in the winter months to keep up her with her exercise and good eating habits.
The AHA? Winter in the Midwest of the Northern Hemisphere was a time for her to maintain keeping her depression under control. Period.
As a life coach whose passion is working with people who are looking to find health & happiness in their lives, many of my clients are experiencing grief in some form. After experiencing a significant loss in life, depression is not uncommon,
Winter in an area that experiences more hours of darkness with cloudy and cold days, can be a very difficult time of season for anyone who is experiencing some type of depression. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) can see increased symptoms starting in the fall and continuing through the winter months (mayoclinic.org 2017-10-17). Lack of sunshine and changes in our body rhythms can result in those who may be pre-disposed to depression in experiencing lower energy and appetite changes such as craving high carbs during the winter months.
So if the goal for my client is to increase her activity level and to eat healthier, and she has a history of depression – she is probably looking at an overwhelming state of change if she chooses to make those changes in the winter month. What a wonderful gift that she had this AHA! She realized that she could be kinder with herself during the winter months while she focuses on keeping her depression under control.
We then talked about how many people focus on creating New Year resolutions, believing that the beginning of a calendar year is the time to begin anew. With her realization, my client has created some awesome actions to reach her goals BUT she is not going to kick it into high gear until the season supports her – when the temperature warms a bit and the sun is shining more often.
I went for a meditative walk last week. It was a chilly day with a deeply overcast sky. I was paying particular attention to what was happening in nature based upon the earlier conversation with my client. The trees were still barren, not yet ready to bud. The birds were few and far between. The squirrels were rustling on the ground in the leaves and not playfully jumping among the trees.
It still felt a bit like winter…
However, I know that underneath the brown ground and within the leafless trees, the energy of spring was quietly preparing for the appropriate time to burst forth with new injury… it just wasn’t quite time yet.
Creating lasting change requires preparation, including knowing when the best timing is to step into action would be. Taking our cue from nature can help us determine when we will most likely succeed in our plan for change. Like the squirrels, the birds and the trees after months of winter, we can start slow and trust in knowing a new life is soon to unfold!
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”~Albert Camus
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