The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Adjusted Attitude; How to deal with the bitter cold


March 6, 2019

I had to ask how does one help change their attitude during the long frigid days and being stuck in house for hours like everyone did last month. After researching attitude adjustment, I did find some helpful suggestions, I thought I would share, because let’s face it living here now with this weather is depressing. It is for me, and I can’t image what it is like for those who have to be out in the weather all day, all night long. I’ve been watering outside animals with frozen water hoses and pipes. Furnaces have stopped working. Pickups breaking hoses and getting a four-wheel-drive stuck isn’t even hard these days. Even houses seem to be creaking with the deep freeze.

For those who have never been hit by a Polar Vortex or put up with months of really, really cold weather, they will look at the pictures a winter wonderland especially those with blue skies and wish they were there. It was beautiful this morning. The sun was just coming up with a slight pink cast. Everything was so clear, crisp, crystalized and beautiful, but it was -40 without the wind chill added in. Thankfully it was not blowing. It was cold enough. But if you weren’t out in it and just looking you could romanticize it.

I do love some good quotes that helps me look at the situation differently.

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” Edith Sitwell

And for your children there is always the reminder, “The cold never bothered me anyway,” from Elsa in Frozen

And some to remind us that it will be over. “Let us love winter, for it is the spring of genius.” — Pietro Aretino

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” — Albert Camus

Two quotes from unknown sources remind us to think differently. “To appreciate the beauty of a snow flake, it is necessary to stand out in the cold.” And “When it snows, you have two choices: shovel or make snow angels.”

Oh of course there is the quote to help us overcome our crabbiness “One kind word can warm three winter months.” — Japanese proverb

There have been studies of people who live long cold months outside and how they deal with it. They have lower depression in fact because they view the season totally different as something to be enjoyed not something to be endured. We can just consciously try to have a positive wintertime mindset.

Other research bears out the power of our thoughts on how we experience winter. Mayo Clinic has long looked at the connection between our attitude to the winter season and our health. We can literally think our way into feeling better about the season. It doesn’t serve us to hate the reality of where we live.

I can hear it now, “Really none of these ideas are new.” No, they are not, but maybe a reminder to refocus will help us for the next six weeks. Fight the negativity and be inspired by other fun loving, winter loving people. Stay busy and don’t just stay in our houses watching TV. When people start talking about how terrible it is try redirecting the conversations. And as cold as it is, there is real beauty outside, we just need to remind ourselves to find it. Drink your favorite hot drink, a special homemade hot chocolate one instead of the instant store-bought kind. Research and make new hot drinks. Dig out the projects you have always wanted to try and never have. Do fun stuff. Actually, physical activity is a proven attitude adjustment booster. When it isn’t -30 play outside with your kids, don’t just send them out. Try meeting a friend for a brisk walk and pack a thermos of your new hot drink. Find a friend that will motivate you and hold you accountable. Take vitamin B. Few of us are in the sun enough during the winter.

I have seen videos of grownups making snow angels. We have the snow. I once saw a video of doing face plants in the snow and seeing an implant of your face clearly in the snow. I tried that. The drift on my porch was almost as high as I was so I thought why not. Planted my face directly to at least my ears and pulled up. The snow is too dry. I just gave my face an ice massage. There was no lasting impression. But it was funny, and worth doing.


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