I often hear people say “this is my favourite time of year” or “this is my worst season, I hate winter”. Years ago, and for many years, I would really struggle with the advent of November, the thought of the long, dark, cold, wet season ahead of me, with months to survive before my favourite time of year, spring. But for many years now, this has changed. This has changed due to my attitude having changed towards the things that I “dread” or “fear” or would prefer not to experience in my life. My daily practice of gratitude has made a huge difference to this, and also my mindfulness practice – my consciously bringing my awareness back into the now, the present moment, to today; and resisting my urge to catastrophise about how awful this winter may be.
If you find this time of year difficult, could you try to shift this attitude? 6 months of the year is a long time to wish away when life seems so preciously short. I was recently pondering the idea of using your imagination to pretend that this is your favourite time of year. Could you use this attitude to imagine that if this were your favourite time of year, why would that be so? “If I did like this time of year, what do I imagine I would like about it?”
Could you allow yourself to enjoy walks in nature, whatever the weather – maybe you need to get some good wellies and waterproof; could you look around and really take in the changing landscape as the trees change colour and then become bare – enjoying the things that you couldn’t see when the foliage was thick. Could you enjoy the cosy warmth, and the “excuse” to catch up on good films, or uplifting comedies? Could you enjoy sitting down with a hot drink and calling a friend? Could you embrace the fact that in the evenings you can just rest and eat nourishing food rather than feeling the urge to “make the most of the good weather/long evenings”? Could you go walking in the rain and enjoy the warm, dry clothes and hot drink that await you on your return.
We are very blessed to live in a climate that has such marked seasonal changes. The contrast enables us to appreciate the “favourite” seasons more. We had the driest summer for years in the UK this year, and I was SO grateful when the rain returned! Maybe write down a list of things that you do like about this time of year. What you focus on expands. The more good things you look out for, the more you will find.