Winter weather can be bothersome. After taking the time to get ready, you walk outside only to have your hair blown around until it creates the perfect bird’s nest; or you walk in the rain and in two seconds, the hair that took you 10 minutes to blow dry now strangely resembles your dog post-bath. Of course, if you’re male, you probably don’t have this ‘hairy’ problem, but I’m sure everyone can relate to the annoyance of having to “do life” in extreme weather conditions. If I were sitting in my house drinking hot cocoa and watching the wind blow or the rain fall, I probably wouldn’t mind at all. But ask me to run to the grocery store in those conditions and I think I’d opt for a winter fast.
But weather is showered with Unexpected Health. The health found in sunny conditions are well-documented: the vitamin D, being outdoors, increased serotonin levels. But the health discussed during winter months are actually called a condition: SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). You don’t find much medical research on the health benefits of winter or its weather; but wintry weather is full of Unexpected Health…you just have to see it to believe it.
Weather (in particular, winter weather) creates a perfect visual and tactile depiction of health…and being able to see and feel health at work is in itself, healthy. Consider these ‘windy’ metaphors: The winds of change; throw caution to the wind. You can feel wind blowing through your hair, which can be a reminder to change your perspective. Wind can nudge us (or almost knock us over) with its power and presence…so can change. Change–like wind–can be scary. It can rattle us, just as wind shakes up the trees. Wind–like change–leaves an imprint. After a howling wind, the scenery is never the same. Change changes us…and that is healthy. Because as we get rattled, shaken up, and swirled about in life, we gain insight. We learn. We eventually walk around the pothole instead of repeatedly stepping in it. So, the next time you grumble about the scenery outside, remember that this wintry weather is a visual into our scenery inside. We cannot live without the winter weather…and we cannot thrive without some vigorous change. -Until tomorrow, Jaime
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