A Productive Pep Talk for Winter from Your Friendly Neighborhood Therapist

Emily Wagner, LPC on Jan 31, 2019 in Mood and Feelings

We’ve reached the point in Winter when I catch myself wondering if anything but grey skies will ever exist.

I’m seeing a pattern right now that people are growing tired of waking up to cold mornings, having short days, driving home in the dark, and having less time to do things they enjoy. Plus, finances may not have recovered from the holidays and the end of January is usually when New year’s resolutions lose their steam and all around hope is a little harder to come by.

Clearly it is time for a productive pep talk, and no one is happier to provide that to you than your friendly neighborhood therapist! So get comfy in your seat and soak these words in like the sunshine we’ve all be missing…

1. Let’s start by remembering that everything in life is a cycle.
All patterns in life mirror death and new life- from sleeping and eating to creative and emotional cycles. If you are feeling like your life has lack of energy or inspiration, then you are on the upward. Moments when we feel the dead of winter is within us are moments when we are restoring and regenerating; we are fueling for moments of energy and new life. What you’re feeling right now is not an end; it is generating your new beginning.

2. You can do this! I know this, because you’ve done it before.
You have made it through loss, tough days at work, and times when everything was thrown at you at once. Those beautifully strong qualities inside of you that helped you get through those times are still with you today. Call on them for help, and remember that they are with you always.

3. Plot twist: Thank yourself.
Gratitude is the antidote for our critical voice that says we can’t do it. Spend more moments of your day thanking yourself for what you have done so far to get you through the day. Thank yourself for those qualities of strength we mentioned earlier.

4. Quick tip on the practice of self-comfort.
Picture someone who loves or cares for you very much (person or pet!) and imagine them telling you the exact words you need to hear. Imagine them expressing unconditional love and support.

5. Extra Credit: Use the power of imagination.
Did you know that our brains can’t tell the difference between reality and what we tell it to imagine? That’s why meditating to the image of a beach works; our brains respond as if we are actually there! Close your eyes and imagine your perfect vacation getaway. Breathe deeply, relax your muscles, and use all 5 senses to vividly imagine yourself there. (Can you smell or taste the salt in the air? Can you feel the wind? What colors do you see? What textures can you find? How loud are the waves?) Go to your happy place as often as you need a little boost.

6. And lastly, remember that you have support around you.
I deeply care for your wellbeing and would be happy to talk to you about how I can help if you’re still in a rut.

You’ve got this! Take a deep breath, imagine yourself as a superhero, and go forth to conquer the day. I believe in you.

Emily Wagner is a Mental Health Counselor in Fort Collins, CO.

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