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Winter

Winter
 
Winter is a season of dreary skies, snow, rain, ice, and many shades of gray covering the landscape. Although there are several holidays in the months between fall and spring, the days, in general, seem like one big depressing fog after we pass through Christmas and New Years Day. Most people cannot wait for the first sign of rejuvenation: the resurgence of green.
 
People tend to get a bit depressed in the winter. Some even try to find sunny, warm spots to vacation in just to break-up the monotony of groundhog day. But the respite is fleeting at best unless one winters in places like Arizona or Florida.
 
In our office, the tone becomes subdued. The days begin and end with little daylight. This year has been particularly difficult due to the low temperatures intermixed with a few warm days. The icy road tops make getting to and going away from the office difficult at times. People brave the winter to come to The Stone. We are grateful.
 
There are a few things about the winter season that I enjoy:
 
  1. It is a time of reflection. Nature is stripped to nothing. Leaves have fallen, grasses have turned brown, bushes have lost their foliage, flowers have shriveled away and animals scurry for food. The typical distractions of daily living present during other months are gone. Thinking replaces doing.
 
  1. Relationships tend to find new beginnings in whatever direction they are moving. People become more focused on change for the future. Life matters in the winter months. There is a tendency to prepare for spring’s rebirth.
 
  1. Clarity takes hold in our decision making. We are unencumbered by the present and have perfect hindsight since terrestrial entertainments have been stripped away.  
 
  1. We embellish memories made in spring, summer, and fall. Recollections of the past become more vibrant, less injurious, and more forgiving.
 
  1. We anticipate the arrival of spring. We applaud the coming of green terrain, warmer weather, and sunnier skies.
 
How does patient care change in the winter? It becomes more necessary. Winter drives the infirm to look for answers or solutions to the health disturbances that elude them. Something about the winter months makes health more important. Some might say it is the new year, but I do not believe that a new year brings a renewed sense of urgency to resolve problems that just do not seem to end. Since vibrancy of nature is subdued, so should our desires to change or heal be subdued. It is quite to the contrary. People do not typically hibernate in the winter, they deliberate, ruminate, and contemplate everything. Their health is typically at the forefront of their desire to change. Change takes hold in winter, only to manifest in spring.
 
Winter does not pay attention to the human climate. Nature has its own circadian rhythms which do not necessarily take human behaviors into account. Human rhythms typically follow nature’s rhythms. Humans belong to nature, nature does not belong to humans.
 
We are roughly halfway through the current winter season. Many of us are tired of the cold, the gray skies and the lack of green everywhere. Spring is coming soon. Nature will be in full bloom again, just like it has over the past hundreds even millions of years.
 
Lay the groundwork today so you may enjoy every minute of the spring. Eat healthy, get enough sleep, and stimulate both your body and mind to be the best they can be. Health is not something that is bestowed upon us, we must work for it. Avoid the stressors that create the cravings for sugar and starch. If your stressors are unavoidable, find ways to curb your body’s response to it. Winter is the time to perfect those actions. Spring will arrive soon.
 
We all are in the throes of winter. Let us make the best of it, for it only lasts for three months. Find what works; make it what is. The rest will follow. I guarantee!
 
Doc
 
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