How I’m coping with the January Gloom

I can’t remember the last time I saw the sun.

The feeling of sunlight on my face suddenly feels so foreign to me.

We’re entering the sixth week of consecutive gloomy grey skies here in Toronto (and the southern Ontario region in general).

Aside from very brief pockets of sunshine here and there, we haven’t really seen prolonged daylight in over a month.

The days go from grey to black, which has been making this notoriously long month feel extra long this time around.

Not long ago, I shared how my Seasonal Affective Disorder has always been a struggle for me. As many can relate, it had worsened during the pandemic lockdowns.

Thankfully, this Winter season has felt much gentler on my soul, thanks to the end of the lockdown era that we hopefully won’t face again.

The main thing that has helped me this Winter is the practice of acceptance (read: accepting the reality of the Winter season instead of fighting it or complaining about it).

Acceptance to me looks like: “Yeah, it’s Winter. Yeah, the lack of daylight sucks. What doesn’t help me during this period? What can I do to make this period more enjoyable for me?”

Turns out, there are plenty of little delights to be found, or rather, to take notice of. Some of my simple delights this month have been:

  • Writing in my fresh new journal
  • Luxurious hand cream
  • Sipping hot chocolate during a snowfall
  • Candles lit all day long
  • My sunflower mug resting in my coffee nook
  • Mailing out handwritten cards “just to say hello”
  • The yellow Billy balls from my gorgeous flower subscription bouquet
  • Making Sunday brunch with lofi music playing
  • Reorganizing, decluttering and crafting
  • Having friends over and ordering in instead of going out in the cold
  • Feeling snowflakes on my cheeks
  • Homemade bread

In addition to these little pockets of solace, I’d like to make a better effort at going outdoors more often, especially during or after a pretty snowfall whenever those happen.

These little practices have been making me feel more in control of past emotions that used to consume me heavily during this gloomy season.

No longer being consumed by that heaviness feels…liberating. Soothing. Empowering. Contenting.

I hope you also find solace in simple delights.

Has it also been gloomy where you live?

What little pleasures do you create or take notice of that makes the gloominess fade away, even for just a little?

Wishing you a cozy and peaceful season.

xo ❄️☕

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