As the dark nights seem to stretch forever and days are cold, still and short, Winter is a time for reflection. It’s the perfect opportunity to fine tune desires, goals and accomplishments planned for in the coming year. Winter offers a time for refreshment and renewal as outdoor activities, social functions and overburdened schedules slow down to create a less frenzied routine.
With less hectic schedules, fewer time constraints and reduced daily routine, we find more time to reflect on the past: lessons learned, accomplishments gained and new strategies for “getting it right this time.”
Families spend more time indoors together, providing the gift of time to spend with one another. Opportunities abound for increased intimacy, improved communication and the intentional making of positive memories with one another.
Yet many of us fail to embrace this auspicious time of year that encourages us to look inward, feast on the harvest of experience the preceding seasons provided and foment plans to increase engagement, meaning and positive relationships.
Snow Days as Grow Days
My wish for families I interact with during the Winter is that they will have several snow days – those days when everything shuts down, kids can’t get to school, parents can’t get to work and there is general quiet and beauty. Of course, in my vision, there are no disasters to contend with, the heat and lights stay on and a deep blanket of pristine snow covers the driveways and highways, inviting play and merriment.
However, snow days can provide a unique set of circumstances that gathers the family in one place at the same time. It’s the perfect time to hold a family meeting, learn a new skill, begin a family project or foster family bonds through creating positive memories, engaging in positive family activities and improving relationships.
A little planning now for those snow days can help structure activities that promote better family well-being and put every family member on notice that a snow day is a grow day.
While the promise of renewal lies shortly ahead when trees leaf out, daffodils bloom and the first Spring crops emerge, Winter is truly a time to celebrate. Take advantage of this Winter to not only plan for the future but to review the past and change the present. You are in charge of creating the future you want to have. Winter is the springboard. ###
Daniel Trussell, Ph.D., MBA, LPC, NCC, CPCS is author of The How Families Flourish Workbook and How Families Flourish. He is a certified Professional Counselor supervisor and conducts training for both professionals and families in incorporating the findings from positive psychology into daily life. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. [website]