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EMBRACE WINTER [Makers Monday Motivation 1.22.17]

 
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Oh the joy of winter. It’s that magical time of year when you can’t leave the house without arming yourself with multiple layers to ensure no skin is exposed, the car and floors of your home are filthy with salt residue, local businesses temporarily close because of frozen pipes, sniffles abound, and it gets dark so early it feels like time for bed - before you even get home from working. The joy!

Yet, despite the many obvious reasons I find myself complaining about these months of cold, I want to share 5 reasons I believe creatives need winter and why I think we can each benefit from embracing the remaining chilly months.

1. Hibernating is good. 

Our lives are perpetually busy. Activities, meetings, social events, etc. While it is good to be active, taking some time to stay in, relax and rest is actually healthy. This past month at our house, we’ve been going to bed early and letting ourselves stay in bed a bit longer each morning. We felt guilty at first, but decided we were tired because our bodies actually needed the extra sleep. Hibernating a bit in the winter isn’t lazy, it can be renewing.

2. Deep winter freeze is critical for abundant new life come spring. 

Ask any farmer and they will tell you, the fields need a cold winter. An annual deep freeze kills off bugs and allows perennials to store up enough energy to grow more abundant in the warmer months. This cycle is also true for ourselves. We likely have a project, a relationship, or a habit that would serve us well if we let it “die off.” By letting something go, we make the space for something new to come.  

3. Connect with intention. 

When it’s too cold to bounce around to various social events or spend much time walking outside, we are less likely to randomly run into friends and acquaintances. Yet, no matter how cold it is out, we still need connection. For that reason, the winter forces us to reach out and connect to people with intention. It’s a great time of year to invite friends over for dinner, pick up the phone and call to catch up, or schedule a coffee meet-up with other makers who’ve been stuck in their studios and could use a good in-person chat.  

4. More time indoors means more time to create. 

The extra time on evenings and weekends spent inside doesn’t simply mean you should let yourself binge watch NetFlix. This is a great time to work on a creative project you’ve put off, or do some writing after dinner, or finally read that business book your friend recommended, or brainstorm new project ideas and get a jump-start on making before spring market season is here. The possibilities are endless.  

5. Gives us something to look forward to. 

I’ve always wondered if I lived in LA, if I’d appreciate the summer as much as I do in my current four-seasons life. For me, there is something about having the harshness of winter that makes me look forward to and truly value the spring once it arrives. I’ve heard that enjoying the anticipation of something exciting to come can be just as valuable as actually experiencing the thing itself. (Which is why it’s smart to plan a vacation months ahead so you can stretch out the experience!) This is also valuable for our creative businesses. It’s good to always have something on the horizon that you are looking forward to such as a future goal, event, or project that you can’t wait to start and get excited and motivated simply thinking about.

The comforting news is, no season lasts forever. Winter will be gone before we know it. With that, this week’s Monday Maker Motivation Challenge includes a few suggestions for ways you can try and embrace the remaining frigid days, so that you not only survive the cold, but thrive in it.


Tips for embracing winter:

  • Use this time staying indoors to work on a creative project you’ve had on the backburner
  • Invite friends over for dinner
  • Put in some extra hours working so you have more time to play when it’s nice out
  • Read books (both the professional and entertaining kind)
  • Get the extra rest your body has needed the last 9 months
  • Call a friend and catch up
  • Get inspired: go to a museum, or a movie
  • Consider, is there something that needs to “die” in your life before spring gets here?

The forecast looks like snow here in the Midwest today, so it is a great week to put these tips into practice. 

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We’re in this together,

Ashley