I used to say that I hated January all the time. Because it’s popular opinion that it is the worst. It’s cold, people suffer from seasonal depression, the sun barely shines, the inclement weather, and the list goes on…
These days I find that I actually LOVE January. I think it’s my second favorite season right behind Autumn. “Why in the world?!”, you may be wondering.
Perhaps it’s because I have a pre-disposition to be anxious and depressive, so the shorter days and longer nights go along with my natural rhythms and emotional tendencies more than the endless warm days of summer. I’m just not an endlessly warm and summer-y person. I may appear that way, but deep down, I am a lover of warm, soft, blankets, any reason to stay inside and feel cozy, and sleep.
I thrive on cozying up with a blanket, cup of tea, and watching a great movie or binging a new TV show. Or cooking a delicious, warm, meal (most likely soup) and truly experiencing how much it nourishes and soothes my body as I look out at the bare, sometimes snowy, landscape. I freakin’ love going to bed early and waking up early with the sunrise, and in the winter, that equates to more hours of sleep, and I love sleep.
Give me all the music like Bon Iver, First Aid Kit, Ingrid Michaelson, The Decemberists, and Regina Spektor to soothe my mind and heart. On a cold winter’s night, music fills me up with inspiration, reflection, and gratitude, especially if I’m doing so while sipping a glass of wine… and it tastes oh-so-much-better when it’s cold outside because it can warm you right up and make you feel so snuggly with only one glass.
During the winter, life is less serious. It’s slower, more thoughtful, and edges on the brink of boring, but it’s in those moments of potential boredom that your creativity bursts. Suddenly that decorating project I’ve been putting off for months (or years) presents itself and becomes the perfect activity on a bitter day.
The Winter Solstice signifies spiritual re-birth in connection with the path of the sun. When it’s dark and cold, the soul sheds what is no longer needed and blooms fully by the summer solstice, the soul transforms from inner-darkness into light, just like the sun. As humans, you cannot deny our innate connection to the sun. It’s what keeps us alive- it’s no wonder when it’s not as present that we feel disconnected and lonely- seasonal depression.
If you struggle with seasonal depression, thinking about this season as a time to reflect, rebuild, and shed whatever does not serve you in an effort to become stronger, wiser, and possibly more enlightened by the time Summer comes around, may be a transformational shift in perspective for you.
It was for me, and that is why I’ve fallen in love with the coldest, darkest, month of the year. Not because of my personality, but because I embrace this time to connect more deeply to myself and my environment because it’s what the earth, sun, and universe wants me to do.