Positive thinking from the middle of winter

16th February 2024

This time of year can be tough. Skies are relentlessly overcast, it’s cold and wet, illness is lurking around every corner. And even though you promised yourself that this year would be different, January’s New Year’s resolutions are lying abandoned in a gutter somewhere… But we’re determined not to feel down. So we’ve put together a feel good article of the positive thinking from the middle of winter to share. 🌤

Here are our mood lifting thoughts, reflections and ideas to shake off the February gloom.

Sharon Tanton

I asked my LinkedIn connections to share their bright ideas for dark times, and got some excellent answers:

Don’t fight it, feel it. Allow the season to do its thing. Sleep in, light the fire, hunker down, take the rest this time of year is inviting us to do as nature does and trust it’s entirely in our best interests to do so… Spring will be upon us in no time. Now is the time to plan, prepare the ground, plant the seeds, nourish ourselves, recharge… Then when it’s time to bloom we’ll be all the more ready for it to just go nuts! | Ryan James

I just read a beautiful book called Wintering by Katherine May. It’s an ode to surrender and slowing down rather than fighting against the ‘winters’ in our lives. I’m not saying this is easy to do, but I’m trying each year. | Kerry Harrison

You won’t be surprised to hear that my recommended mood booster is swimming. | Sonja Nisson

I’ve got spring bulbs in pots outside my front door! As soon as the year turns something in the air changes and green shoots start to poke up out of the soil! Everyday I look at them as I pass in and out. White Christmas roses, mini iris, daffs and snowdrops so far! It might be grey outside, but spring is awakening. | Diane Broadley

My suggestion is just to get out and walk in daylight every day, even if it’s just for twenty minutes (and it’s raining.) Really look and listen when you’re out. You might need to crouch down to see them, but the signs of Spring are there in green shoots, snowdrops and crocuses.  Noticing these quiet harbingers of Spring is cheering, but blink and you’ll miss them.  Spring in its big blossomy leafy showy best is a real show stopper, but take the time to enjoy February’s warm up act and you’ll feel brighter.

Alice Turner

What to stick to on the tough days

  • Steam twirling upwards over a cup of coffee
  • The idea of being in the sea
  • Playing the Wow game (best with others but can be done alone)
  • A big bag of Giant Buttons
  • Sending a few compliments by message to those you like and love
  • A ten minute Airbnb browsing break
  • Six deep breaths in a row
  • Writing it down

How to play the Wow game (taught to me by Theo, aged 6)

Start where you are. Look around you and notice something, anything, and say out loud ‘wow’ and then name the thing.

If you’re with others, take it in turns, or try it yourself. I promise it lifts your spirits!

Here’s an example from my desk:

‘Wow; telephone wires’

‘Wow; a yellow bucket’

‘Wow; a palm tree’

‘Wow; a grey cloud’

It’s a little like I Spy but more addictive and without the guessing.

Mark Waite

Learn to embrace it and focus on marginal gains. Tomorrow will have more daylight than today. So too the day after, and the day after that. It may only be a minute or so but think about the compound effect of this over the coming weeks and months.

Celebrate the small things. Look for the early signs of nature awakening. From shooting snowdrops to budding hawthorn and cherry blossom. Listen to the murmurings of the song thrush serenading the oncoming of Spring.

And if the above doesn’t work then a dose of nostalgia might. Reconnect with your 5 year old self. Remember the sound of the rain on the caravan roof. Remember the excitement of staying out after dark. Remember when puddles were for splashing in and not a magnet for your cocker spaniel to roll in!

And finally, write something. This is something I wrote in February 2022 which still seems rather apt today.

Keep on keeping on people.

Dear Hope,

I know times are tough right now and a lot of people are looking for you but please don’t abandon us. We need you!

With Love and Kindness as your allies you create a powerful force. A force for good over evil, humanity over tyranny, peace over war.

With you by our side we will prevail.

Yours sincerely,


Andy Williams

I’m going to start my thoughts with ‘never be the last out of the door’ because reading everything that others have written, I’m feeling both privileged and slightly awed. What to say?

Start at the start. I’m the one in the room, mid October, who’ll talk to anyone of my dread of the oncoming darkness, the shrivelling of summer’s far horizons. Of missing bare-skinned-bathing in the breeze, or the sunlight, or the warmish drizzle, and the numbness that loss contains. I’m the one who is literally raging against the dying of the light.

I’m the one who splits the first wood, lights the first fire, lays out the lamps and the candles and fairy lights. Rides a bike home in a cocoon of near perfect blackness, chasing a teardrop of bright light always just beyond my front wheel. Drops into weather chatrooms to follow the meanderings of the Polar Night Jet, the North Atlantic Oscillation, and dreams about sparkling frost-filled days and heavy snowfalls. And find that I’m mostly enjoying it all.

Best of all… I’m one who sees the first snowdrops, the first hazel catkins, celandines, wood anemones and primroses. Whose spirits rise fast, like a mercury barometer, as day length approaches, catches, finally overtakes the span of night. Earth, the greatest ship we’ll ever sail in, has set a course for Summer. Yesssssss.


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