The first snow fall of the year marks for me a time of being on high alert mentally. I am truly not fond of the snow. I do admit that it is beautiful and fresh snow looks like winter wonderland but it really wreaks havoc on my mindset. I am grateful for all of God's creation but this part of His creation brings a lot of challenge for me. When there is a lot of snow accumulation it can be difficult to drive and the conditions make the roads dangerous. I drive a small car which doesn't have a lot of traction so I have to be very careful while driving which creates anxiety in me. Then there is the frequent shoveling of snow. Even though it is a good workout, if it doesn't get done right away my car gets stuck coming up the driveway which frustrates me to no end. You see, I suffer with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and this time of year can really get me down. It starts to get dark around 4pm where I live and there are long stretches of time where the days are gloomy, grey and extremely cold. If I'm not mindful, I can let the weather send me on a negative tail spin.
However, I have learned that I must make an effort to make the most of the cold and snowy season, which for Illinois is inevitable. I've turned from allowing anxiety and depression to get the best of me during the winter months to deciding that I'm not going to allow the weather to overcome me. Now, instead of burying myself under my covers and turning into a hermit, I make a point to continue my daily activities unless conditions are extreme. I still run my errands, make dates with my friends, and I even keep running in the cold. I have the power to choose joy even when my mind says otherwise. I came to the realization that my joy doesn't come from the weather. My joy comes from the Lord. He is the one who sustains me. I must remind myself of this especially when I tend to look at all the negatives like the ones I started this post with. I love the verse in the bible where it says "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things" (Philippians 4:8). This reminds me to adjust my attitude and renew my mind when I’m not thinking positively. I'm not saying it's always easy for me, because I still struggle. But I know that it is certainly possible for me to have a better attitude and a more positive perspective overall. On days when it is a real challenge for me I pray and ask God to show me His goodness. I have also created systems that enable me to stay productive despite my feelings and I want to help you do the same.
Do you have things you struggle with that you need a new perspective on? Do you need to change your thinking from negative to positive? Do you want to learn how to create systems in your daily life to help you do just that? Let me come alongside you to assist you in discovering ways to overcome destructive mindsets in your life.