I once learned that the way we spend our time can be measured on a scale. There are high quality activities and low quality activities. That scale ranges from 10 to 1. When we are feeling frustrated, bored, depressed, uninspired or lost, it is often that we are spending our time based on too many low quality activities.
So let’s look at a typical day off, if ‘a day off’ is actually in our vocabulary. I know that when my energy is high and I am feeling good, I am usually engaging in things like getting outside, going for walks, taking nature photos, organizing, cleaning, going to events, writing, collaging, reading, spending time with family, etc. When my energy is low, I usually leave a mess of dishes and laundry, slip on my comfy clothes and plop myself on the couch, to stare at the television.
On the basis of the invisible scale of quality activities, I would rate myself as very low this winter. There have been many excuses, that I have used, from not feeling well, to working 6-7 days a week, to it being icy outside, or cold outside, or snowy outside or dark and lacking sunshine outside. I could come up with more excuses, but you get the point. Even though we have very valid reasons and excuses for not having the energy for high quality activities, it is a vicious cycle.
When we engage in doing things that either drain or do not increase our energy stores, we don’t feel like doing things that increase our energy stores and when we don’t do things that increase our energy stores, we spend more time doing things that drain or decrease our energy stores. We end up walking or sitting around stuck in a low energy funk.
This is especially true for individuals who don’t enjoy winter. For people who avoid the outdoors, snow, skiing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, skating, hockey, sledding, etc. winter can be dreadful and depressing. Yes, there is even a syndrome for that called, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I believe that the lack of sunshine can have a very dramatic effect on mood and energy and we are particularly at risk because of our long winters.
Thank goodness the spring season is only weeks away. You would never know it as I look outside our windows, with the snow hovering around like an unwelcome guest; however, there is an end in sight. Soon, the snow will melt. Soon, the sun will shine even longer each day. Soon, we will start to see grass again. Soon, the wild flowers will bloom. Soon, we will ditch the coats and boots and bask in the glory of not having the rituals required to clear the snow, in order to leave the house.
Many of us are blessed with the opportunity to escape to sunnier climates during the winter months but for those who are not, we can anticipate the arrival of spring by getting all of our spring cleaning done earlier, before the spring actually arrives. That way, we won’t be wasting precious time when the nicer weather hits.
Is there a closet to organize? Clothes to donate? Drawers to sort? Rooms to paint? Deep cleaning to do? Ovens to scrub? Dust bunnies to capture? Boxes to go through? Paperwork to file? Income tax to finish? Kitchen cupboards to go through? Tools, storage, memory items to de-clutter?
Now is the perfect time to get on those things. At least these will be higher on our scale of quality activities as they will increase our energy, in the long run, give us a sense of accomplishment, avoid us being featured on an upcoming hoarding show and clearing space and energy for us to embrace spring very soon.
We are almost there and if we get a jump start on increasing our energy now, we can start our spring season right on time. There is so much for us to do and engage in, which would do wonders to our grumpy dispositions. Unfortunately, no one can do this for us. If you are feeling in a slump, time to throw your butt off the couch and the rest will follow…
‘To think negatively is like taking a drug that weakens you.’ ~ Author Unknown