If you’re into wellness reads, check out Katherine May’s book, Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times.
While I don’t think I will ever be someone who looks forward to winter, I did find her perspective and stories around leaning into the cold months and embracing challenging times to be enlightening. I found myself looking at the season in a new way and doing what I can to revel in the excessive downtime that comes with winter. Especially, a pandemic one.
I loved learning about how the Scandinavians survive and find balance in their brutally long winters, how she discovered a love for cold water swims (all year round), and how she found beauty throughout the season. It inspired me to take walks with my dog in 20-30 degree temperatures which were surprisingly mood-boosting, and take moments to watch the snowfall.
Katherine also shares various challenging times from health issues to losing her job and how she navigated those moments. I especially loved the reminder, that just like winter, challenging times are temporary.
Here is one of my favorite quotes:
“There are times when things seem easy, and times when it all seems impossibly hard. To make that manageable, we just have to remember that our present will one day become a past, and our future will be our present. We know that because it’s happened before. The things we put behind us will often come around again. The things that trouble us now will one day be past history. Each time we endure this cycle, we ratchet up a notch. We learn from the last time around, and we do a few things better this time; we develop tricks of the mind to see us through. This is how progress is made. But one thing is certain: we will simply have new things to worry about. We will have to clench our teeth and carry on surviving again.” – Katherine May, Wintering
This has been a hard year for all, and I found Wintering to be helpful in learning to embrace challenging moments rather than fear them. I’m learning to find ways to embrace the benefits of the colder months, and also to lean into restoration during challenging times.