January felt like it was at least 3 months long, right? I definitely felt that way and most folks I know agreed. It seemed to be colder, grayer, longer and more challenging than usual. Now that we’re in February maybe things feel a bit different…or maybe they don’t.
I read The Book of Joy (a book that shares a conversation between long-time friends Desmond Tutu and His Holiness the Dalai Lama) almost 2 years ago. One of the things that stuck with me was the mention that often when we are lonely we crave physical warmth. That could mean a warm beverage, a heated blanket or some time in the sun. I found it so interesting and often return to that idea in the coldest months of the year.
It’s hard not to be lonely in the winter. The hustle and bustle of the holidays are over, it’s too cold to leave the house half the time and everything feels just a little bit harder. You probably do find yourself craving a warm beverage more often and it’s easy to assume the craving is weather related. What if there’s more to that craving?
If winter loneliness is a familiar experience, winter can be an invitation to be on top of the things that are good for you. Maybe that looks like getting that warm beverage you’re craving with a friend instead of solo. Maybe it means noticing any tendencies to isolate and planning ahead. Maybe it’s increasing your gratitude practice or adding something in like a daily reflection of things that made you feel connected.
Warmth can be something you crave for more reasons than the plunging temperatures and accumulating snow. It goes beyond the snugly sweaters and scarves (although I do LOVE both of those things!) we don when we venture out. Warmth can be a real way to connect and combat the loneliness that so many people feel in the colder months.
Grab yourself a warm beverage or some hot soup – and invite someone to join you. Find your warmth in the cold this week.