Life Experiences

Surviving vs. Thriving (combating winter gloom)

Disclaimer: In this post, I’m talking about a specific kind of gloom, but your sadness/depression could be more chronic or happening because of something out of your control, so talk to the people you trust if you’re struggling!!

Picture this.

Your alarm clock beeps, and as soon as you open your eyes, you start to pray. Grabbing a steaming cup of coffee, you spend time with God before you begin your work. In the day, you put away your phone and do something you love: baking, writing, drawing — something that makes you feel happy relaxed, and yourself.

Sounds pretty great, right?

As winter sets in with its cloudy days and mundane rhythms, many people find depression setting in too. Last winter was one of the roughest times I’ve had.

But I determined that I’m going to do everything I can to make this year different.

When I evaluated the things that made me feel so down, I came up with this list:

  • guilt from wasting time/eating wrong
  • not finishing what I’m doing
  • watching YouTube instead of doing what I love
  • settling into the same thing every. single. day.
  • the clouds, dark, and cold
  • not taking risks
  • loneliness

I wrote out my ideal day beside my worst day. As I looked at my “ideal day”, even with its busyness, I realized I could get excited about my life in the winter by simply including small things throughout the day that make me happy. I could choose to do what makes me thrive.

Suggested: 10 Ways to Make Today Amazing

When I give in to laziness, every unhealthy craving, etc., I feel like I’m out of control. I feel like I’m just making ends meet, just surviving.

On the other hand, when I choose good things — intentionally pursue God, stay diligent in my school, eat what makes me feel good in the long term, and pursue the hobbies I care about — I feel like I’m thriving.

Let’s take another look at that list of why I felt so bad:

guilt from wasting time/eating wrong – I can choose to get off of devices, chew gum if I’m tempted to “bored eat,” and do what I’m supposed to do first
not finishing what I’m doing – I can put the things I don’t want to do first thing in the morning so I’m sure to get them done, set timers for the things I don’t want to do
watching YouTube instead of doing what I love – plan out times to write, podcast, and bake, and include other people for accountability in my day
settling into the same thing every. single. day. – take risks and try new things to change up the pace
the clouds, dark, and cold – get outside (I found it actually helps me not notice the cloudiness so much)
not taking risks – make it my goal to get out of my comfort zone every day in some way, and just try something crazy every once in a while
loneliness – intentionally schedule times to hang out with friends and family, help other people out with their daily “to-do list”

The Little Ways I’m Choosing to Thrive

I included links to related posts below, so if any of my goals sound like yours, check out those links!

Drinking chai tea in the morning and reading my Bible before anything else

Suggested: Ep. 2: Getting Excited about Bible Reading

Planning out healthy meals the day before so I’m less likely to eat junk

Working out, focusing on strength goals

Suggested: Working Out for Beginners: Starting and Staying Consistent

Getting assignments done, trying to not procrastinate as much

Suggested: How I Schedule My Day and Stay Dilligent

Doing things for other people and things I actually enjoy

Suggested: Rest: How to Recharge and Reset Intentionally

Not beating myself up when I fail, but trying again instead

Suggested: How to Deal with Success and Failure

Keeping my focus on friends, family, and God, and not getting frustrated by unfulfilled longings

Suggested: Satisfaction for Your Deepest Desires

Taking risks (starting my podcast, entering contests, talking to someone new, witnessing to someone, etc.)

Suggested: 5 Things I’m Doing this Summer That I’ve Never Done Before

Let’s Talk!

Your turn! What are some practical steps you can take to thrive?

If you liked this post and would like to see more like it, sign up for my email list . Also, be sure to like, comment, and share!! If you haven’t checked out my podcast, check it out here or on Spotify! Love you guys! ❤

Related: 10 Ways to Make Today Amazing

Last Post: Ep. 2: Getting Excited about Bible Reading

9 thoughts on “Surviving vs. Thriving (combating winter gloom)”

  1. I totally understand the sadness that comes with winter and I love what you’ve done to combat it! Having structure, looking after yourself and doing what you love is going to make you feel one thousand times better! Good luck! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a perfect article for me this week! I have been having a hard time with procrastinating and doing the same thing every day. I HATE feeling so unproductive! I’m going to go back and read it again to make sure I remember. And the photos are gorgeous! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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