What does winter mean to you?
February, March, and even sometimes April are the hardest months for most of us. The holidays are over, the cozy Christmas lights are gone, and now it’s just cold, dark and bitter outside. After the holidays you THINK winter is almost over, but it’s really only the start.
Of course, these dark bitter days are only happening in the Northern Hemisphere. I am in Peru and the sun is shining even though it’s rainy season. Still, my body feels like hibernating, sleeping in longer, and watching more movies.
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Sometimes you embrace this feeling of wanting to chill and do nothing. You slouch on the couch and watch your favorite movie. But most of the time, you feel guilty for not being productive. You’re a high achiever, just like me, and you want to be active, you want to reach your goals, tick off things from your to-do list, … Even in wintertime.
When you are trying to constantly be productive in winter, you are literally fighting the natural flow of the seasons of life.
Springtime is a time of new ideas, starting new projects, feeling inspired, taking action … But to reach that feeling of fresh energy to get up and go start something new, you need to go through winter FIRST: a time to withdraw, to self-reflect, to look back on your life, and learn from past lessons. Only this way, you can take a moment for recalibration and realign life to what you truly value and what you truly want to achieve, so that in springtime you take consistent action on your aligned life goals.
I created some cozy Winter Writing Prompts for you so you can press the pause button in your life, take a step back and reshape your life if necessary, so you can make sure you’re on the right path to creating the life you love.
Download these Winter Writing Prompts to go inwards, spend time with yourself and reflect on your life so that you can set the right goals for springtime!
In this blog post, I won’t give you a list of ‘the 28 self-care activities you should be doing to ‘beat’ the winter blues’. What I DO want to give you is 3 important mindset shifts to embrace winter and use it as an opportunity to correct course in your life if you’re constantly busy and living at a fast pace:
As I explained before, there’s a time for spring and a time for winter. There’s a time for action-taking and a time for reflecting on those actions. Even though your brain has that ‘go go go’ mentality, it’s not always the right time to be super productive, to work on your goals, to check off things on your to-do list.
Winter is a time to be mild and kind to yourself. It’s a great time to work on your perfectionism and productivity addiction. The same way you train your brain to be constantly productive, you can train your brain to pause.
This first mindset shift is for you to see the true value in withdrawing and reflecting. Pausing does not equal doing nothing. Pausing means recharging your batteries, taking a step back, having that eagle view over your life, and creating space to make wiser decisions about your next move. This will actually speed up the process when you’re taking action on your goals. You know you’re going in the right direction, and you’re not just absorbed by the fast speed of daily life.
We can’t always move at the same pace. When you embrace the seasons of life, embrace the different speeds of different times in your life, you can feel more at peace and value the moments you decide to take a vacation, or sleep in, or watch a movie and do nothing productive at all. You’re recharging your mental batteries and taking a step back so that you can take action afterwards with fresh energy and inspiration.
Your body is clearly asking you to sleep in a little bit longer, or to get a blanket and a tea and just watch movies all night long. And that’s totally OK!
You might get frustrated with yourself because you can’t seem to wake up when your alarm goes off. Or you can’t seem to be productive in the evenings by studying or reading or even just meeting people. You just feel like staying in and doing nothing, which can be so good for you and enjoyable, but still, you beat yourself up because you feel like you’re wasting your precious time.
Let me ask you a question: What is your life like in summer? Do you remember how you always want to be outside and meet friends during summertime? Well, we’re in the opposite time of the year (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), so it’s very logical that you will feel the opposite way.
Accept that you feel differently in winter and your body has different needs. Don’t fight it. Again, embrace the seasons and go with the flow of your body and your mind’s needs.
This is why the year starts in the season of winter: the FIRST step is always to declutter and simplify your life BEFORE you take on new activities, new projects, you make new friends, you start a new online course, etc …
When you take a moment to simplify your life and release what’s no longer serving you, you can make space for the new. It’s a constant cycle of taking on new things and releasing what needs to be released. You probably focus all of your attention on the NEW, right? It’s exciting to start something new. But you forget to pay attention to what you’re letting go of and creating the right filter in your life so that your plate isn’t too full with food that you don’t really like anymore.
How can you simplify your life? The people in your social circle, the projects you’re working on, the hobbies you’re doing, the clutter in your house, the newsletters you’re still subscribed to … What are you not really using anymore? Which person or activity is not aligned to who you are TODAY? Not yesterday or a year ago, but who are you now and what do you want to focus on?
The first part of the ROI Energy Cycle for Healthy High Achievers is the ‘R’ that stands for Removing The Clutter. There’s a reason why it looks like a cycle. You will constantly need to go back to the part where you declutter and simplify, in order to increase your energy and feel happier.
I hope you planted a seed in your productive brain by reading this blog post and going through the Winter Writing Prompts so you can start embracing this slower pace of wintertime where you can take a bigger perspective on your life, listen to your body’s needs and gift yourself more moments of pure relaxation and self-reflection.
Breaks are productive.
Your heart has a space between every heartbeat. A song has pauses between music notes. Animals literally hibernate in winter, and your body has similar needs.
Enjoy the different phases of your life and get smart by using them in the way they are intended. Winter is intended for you to pause and reflect on your life. So download the Winter Writing Prompts, create a cozy corner for yourself with a blanket, tea, and candles, put on some relaxing music, and truly enjoy this moment to yourself.
You deserve it. You deserve to reshape your life and feel calm and happy.
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