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Frazzled to Free Blog

Insights to help busy women stop sacrificing their health and happiness to hectic schedules, and rediscover bigger, more fulfilling lives.

Winter Holiday Blahs

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“Honestly, all I want to do is eat, curl up by the fire and sleep 10 hours”

My companion, Sherry, expressed this sentiment as we surveyed a small miracle: It was one of those rare (for me) occasions when everything needed for a festive meal were ready at the same time. The main course, vegetable dishes, pies - everything had come together.  Mouthwatering aromas filled the kitchen, defying the chilly outdoors. Yet she was moved by something deeper.

Winter blahs crept in anyway

Soon it became apparent that Sherry was experiencing a winter down-time with reduced mental and physical energy, feeling a little blue, along with a longing for soothing foods. (She was not referring to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a full-blown winter depression).

Does our mood come from thousands of years of seasonal change?

I can imagine that our ancient forebears were tuned into winter as a time of dormancy, of introspection, to which they added a uniquely human element, a promise of renewal.

Research suggests that winter down time reflects an altered circadian rhythm, a change in the body’s internal clock, due to reduced brain levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin, in response to decreased sunlight.

Managing winter-induced energy dips

What never fails for me is to go outside, move my body and connect with nature. Then again, I sometimes accept that a low energy winter day offers an opportunity for contemplation and curling up by the fire with a good book.

Insight Builder

How do you know if your answer to a winter energy dip is to move into activity or to hunker down and get some serious down-time? What has worked for you in the past?

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What is the Best Way to Share Feelings with a Friend?

Have you thought about having a goal when you share an emotion? How you feel afterward may be related to your answer or (unconscious) intent.

What sort of listener response are you looking for when you share a feeling?

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Do you seek:

1. Validation? Are you looking for confirmation of your viewpoint?

2. Advice? Do you want somebody to solve a problem?

3. Stand In? Are you looking for your listener to take away discomfort?

4. Venting? Do you want someone to truly hear you out when expressing a feeling?

5. Encouragement? Are you looking for a pep talk?

Match these potential outcomes with the five goals above.

a. Clarity? Helps you get a clear picture and think rationally.

b. Relief? Helps you get feelings out in the open.

c. Affirmation? I'm not the only one who feels this way.

d. Guidance? Helps you convert unknowns to knowns.

e. Accountability? Helps keep you on track.

Please remember, none of the above options is inherently "bad" or "good". Each can simply represent your choice in the moment.

What are the most effective ways you use to share emotions to come away from the interaction feeling more empowered? I would love to hear from you!

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