Surprise of the Season: How Winter Won’t Make me SAD

Braced for winter last year

Pre-pandemic, when it came to winter the cold DEFINITELY bothered me anyway. I dreaded the winter months and would trudge through them dreaming of the return to sunny days by the pool. Last year, I started to feel very gloomy as winter approached and wrote a piece about my depression  

Then something happened, an unexpected shift. I was living in my senses and my present more and BAM… I didn’t hate winter anymore. 

I can almost pinpoint the moment it happened. We had just purchased enhanced winter and hiking gear because of a trip to Colorado and I was wearing layers of warm clothing, a hat, a mask, and waterproof hiking boots. My partner and I decided to challenge ourselves with a tough, remote trail called River Bluff near Independence/Sugar Creek. I climbed steep hills and clung to branches to pull myself up to the top. The overlook did not disappoint as I looked across the fields and railroad near the Missouri River. My breath was taken away by the views, and being slightly out of shape.

I have taken the kids on the hike mentioned above, but full disclosure it is not an easy
trek. If you want to see more family friendly trails I encourage you to try getting outside at one on our previous list.

I then adopted a new outlook I heard from a Norwegian saying, “there’s no bad weather, only bad clothes.” Winter is enjoyable, it is welcoming! Who knew? 

Of course depression didn’t vanish, but at least my mental health could improve from this new, positive perspective. What would happen if instead of growling every morning when waking I went outside and embraced the cool, listened to the cardinals’ song, and took in the winter sunrise. I don’t just have to hibernate in this season — I can connect with the unique features of each season that we naturally benefit from by being Kansas Citians.  

Being appreciative of the moments indoors fills me with gratitude as well. I hope we all have recipes we love that we hold off the gratification of until the freezing temps settle in. Warm beverages and soups galore. And a comforting fire in the living room, big fuzzy socks, a hot bath with a good book.  

This year will be very different from last with our entire family vaccinated and indoor venues reopened for fun. No matter the variety or scarcity of activities in public the upcoming winters hold, I will never shed the lessons learned from last year. I am in the honeymoon phase of this new love with winter and refuse to become complacent in honoring her.  

If you have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), don’t tough it out or think that you will suffer for the season and get over it later. Yes, I am finding myself with a better mindset but I still have struggles and really hard days to get through too. I am in talk therapy and put work into my mental health. I was fortunate to inadvertently switch gears to a more positive place about winter. Seek treatment for SAD, and don’t accept the winter blues as a necessary event. 

Hi, I’m Lizzie and you could say…I’m a little wild at heart. I’ve tried on a lot of different jobs, a lot of different towns-but now I’m home. I absolutely love KC. I have my own business, Lizzie Scribbles LLC, where I offer a complete range of writing, editing, and virtual assistance services. My partner, Greg, and I live in Independence with our 3 children – Grayson (11), Kase (10) and Adria (9). We love music, hiking, cooking, and family date nights.