Finding Verve, Even While Freezing

I have hit the wall. I’m done. Energy and motivation: gone. Effort to do things: minimal. In the “Bold North” most of us hit the wall in mid-February (some of us hit it after the first cold snap in November). This year is particularly difficult with record snowfall, and today, an expected high temperature of zero degrees. How do you keep going when nature dares you to stay on the couch and fill your body with stew? Adapting to your environment. “Hygge” has been everywhere lately. It’s the Scandinavian concept of creating a warm, convivial atmosphere; think sitting next to the fireplace chatting with a friend or drinking hot cocoa over a board game. Essentially, it is connecting to the present moment.

Sharing our time, energy, and warmth doing activities with others helps rejuvenate what feels depleted. I use the concept of hygge to help me practice willingness in subzero temperatures. Despite my temporary discontent, I enjoy living somewhere that has all four seasons. I like living near my family. This means that I have to adapt to my circumstances to live contentedly, even in harsh winters. Adaptation looks like wearing three layers of clothing in order to take advantage of the snow that I am tired of so that I can go sledding (identifying positives). Recognizing an opportunity and creating a day of fun out of a cardboard box or inner tube and surplus precipitation is a strength; it takes willingness to find verve while freezing. It is reminding myself that shoveling snow is a full-body workout that justifies the cancellation of my gym membership (reframing thoughts). It is leaving the house to share a meal with people that bring me joy (committed action). Hitting a wall energetically can be a cue to find ways to reconnect to what feels valuable to you. Where in your life have you been feeling depleted? 

Jordan Jones, LICSW

Edited by Nehjla Mashal, PhD


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