As the icy winds, freezing rain and grey skies combine to beat us down at this time of year, developing a mindfulness habit can help to alleviate those winter blues. Taking a few minutes every day to pause and think about what we are thankful for in life, whether that's family, health, your pet, good friends, etc., is a good way to start bringing your mind out of the doldrums and into the sunlight.
Start taking walks, even short ones, and pay close attention to the sounds and smells around you. With all the leaves gone sound tends to travel farther and while you may not see birds everywhere, their song is there if you listen closely. If the sun is out, a patch of melting snow can reveal soft wet mud and the heat will release its earthy tones into the air. Listening for the sound of dripping water in downspouts, the crunch of your boots in gravel and ice and the whistling of the breeze in branches all help to focus your mind on the present.
Using your cellphone camera can also be an interesting way of forcing your mind into focus. Using the camera in your phone, take the time to compose your images as you walk. Develop strategies for composing images and look for specific situations, like ice on a puddle, leaves in mud and snow, broken branches or the patterns of snowdrifts. There likely won't be many photos on any given walk but the mental focus involved in hunting for and capturing pictures will bring you right into the present.
In the end, we can't change winter so we might as well accept it. We don't have to like it, we just have to find ways to live with it.
All the best,
Ed - Legging l'Amour
See more images from me here - https://unsplash.com/@edwintersottawa