Ways to reconnect with gratitude and joy

Photo by Karen Peters
Appreciating the beauty

I’d like to share some techniques to encourage a state of contentedness or joy or something better than the winter blues. I’d love to hear back from any of you who have other ideas that I haven’t covered here. Winter can be a tough time for many people, and the holidays can be triggering for many. Please know there are others who feel like you do, you are not alone! Reach out and connect with others who care, especially your animal friends, and your human friends too.

What keeps you going during the cold dark months of Winter? This could be a time that is natural for reflection, for inner nurturing.

. Here’s some ideas.

  1. Journal on gratitude. Journaling in general is a great way to get out your feelings and express yourself in a safe and totally private way. I’ve been told that the actual act of putting pen or pencil to paper and physically making marks is healing to our brains. Sometimes typing into a computer feels most satisfying. After you pour your heart out to the paper or digital machine, you can either burn or erase what you wrote, or save the words to review and get perspective on your life another day.
  2. Exercise. There are tons of studies showing that exercise releases natural endorphins and is good for mood regulation and circulatory health, among other things. I’ve found the key for me is being realistic about what kind and how frequent and long each session needs to be. If you have an already active life, with alot of walking and stairs in your day, that counts too. It seems to matter that at least some of your exercise is cardio- active, or getting your heart rate up to a level that is appropriate for your age and fitness level. One of my favorite ways to do cardio is to put on some of my favorite music, then sing and dance to myย  heart’s content!
  3. This brings me to the next great idea- Music! Music is the great healer for people. It connects us and brings many different emotions to the surface. What emotions are strengthened is up to you. Upbeat happy music, soulful evocative music, R&B, Funk, Country, Classical, all of the above might be right on one day and not another. I have my favorites. Spotify has some great playlists that they have created. Check out some recent ones around a Giving Thanks theme
  4. Notice dietary habits that may be helping or suppressing your natural Joy and satisfaction with Life. I’ve been taking a course with Charis Lindrooth and Paul Bergner called Food for Optimal Health. It’s been really good to reconnect with what I put into my body, including the power of plants and flower essences. I highly recommend this course or something similar.
  5. If anxiety is part of the mix for you, you could try some farm grown individual whole plant high CBD plant tincture. I think anything we are going to put into our bodies needs to be researched and either made with our own hands so we know what is going into it each step of the way, or buying from someone, in this case an herbalist, whom you know and trust.
  6. Connect with old friends or make new ones. I know this can feelย  hard for introverts like myself. I also realize how nourished I feel when I make connections with other people or animals. Sometimes pushing past your comfort boundaries just a little bit can be very rewarding. Take baby steps and retreat if it doesn’t feel good. You can suggest a project to help others in the community and see who signs up with you, this can be the basis for a new friendship.
  7. Do Art. I am a watercolorist – and I have a very individual style. What is your way of expressing yourself creatively? It could be sculpy animals, knitting, dancing, and so many other possibilities.
  8. I’ll be updating this post as I think of any more ideas to share. Please reach out and connect. ๐Ÿ’“๐Ÿ’—๐Ÿ’•๐Ÿ’œ๐ŸŒˆ
Photo by Karen Peters๐Ÿ˜Œ
Soon the endless stars will come out!

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