• Caroline Harris

Out of a Funk, Into the Bloom

SPRING IS HERE!! The sun is out, flowers are blooming and I am a happy girl. I don’t think we realize how much power the weather holds over our emotions. While winter can be a time of restoration and hibernation that we actually need, it is easy to slip into a funk -- whether it’s the cold weather, being inside, or seeing less of your friends. It’s easy to feel closed in and a little sad, but when we wallow in that sadness alone, it becomes an even bigger problem.

I used to be the kind of person that concealed my emotions in front of others. I didn’t want to be a burden, and I wanted to seem like I had it all together. Once I learned the power of vulnerability, I decided to open up a little more. First, it was around my close friends but now I have found ways to open up to people outside of my inner circle, in a tasteful way (not oversharing or scaring people away). What I have come to find is that more people than you realize feel the exact same way as you.

Winter is a time of year that totally drains me. I get so much energy from being outside in the sun, and I am cold natured (find me in my Ugg slippers year round), so freezing weather is not my favorite. I love the joy of the holidays in December, but once January and February roll around, I am ready to escape winter. One day, maybe I’ll live in Florida December-March. But for now, here are some ways to escape the winter wallowing:

1. Increase Vitamin D intake.

It’s pretty cool how the vitamins and minerals in our body can enhance or detract from our moods, feelings, and sleep schedule. Most people are not getting the minimum recommended Vitamin D intake year round, and the gap grows even wider in the winter. Even on the coldest days, it can make such a difference to bundle up and go outside for a little walk, especially in the mornings. You can get your sunshine fix and wake up with the cold air! For those days when the weather is not the greatest or you just feel a little down, Vitamin D3 supplements are readily available at health foods stores or even on Amazon. A brand I like to use is linked here.

2. Normalize talking about sad feelings, even if you think they are small.

These sad feelings can build up inside overtime and become very problematic, almost without us realizing it. But your compressed emotions will come out eventually, whether it’s towards close friends or your own mental state. Don’t clam up during the winter, find your tribe of people you trust and be open with them, no matter how big or small you’re feeling it.

3. Journal.

A really great way to look back on certain stages of life is by documenting them. To be honest, I stink at consistently journaling in a notebook. It takes a lot for me to sit down and devote hours to writing because the times I decide to do it are so spaced apart that I feel the need to catch myself up. One of my goals is to become a more consistent journaler, but I have also found new ways to look back on my favorite memories. I love taking photos and have recently gotten really into making video compilations of certain events. It is so easy to take horizontal videos, upload them to iMovie, and then put music to the background. I made them for our extended Christmas break and also on a recent trip to Houston. My friend, Addi, taught me how to do this when we were abroad in London. My number one tip is to upload the videos to iMovie as you go, so it’s not too much to compile at the end!

4. Realize that winter is temporary!

I am always taken by surprise when I first notice trees blooming, birds chirping, and bugs buzzing at the turn of spring. It’s not always easy to come out of a funky winter, but new life in bloom regenerates the soul.

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