Welcome to week 10 of The Winter Project!
(What is The Winter Project?)
Welcome to February!
Our theme for The Winter Project for this month is: Winter play
Are you familiar with the concept of “flow”? Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychology professor and expert on the psychology of happiness and creativity, has written much on the subject and defines "flow" as being fulling immersed in a pleasurable activity with energized focus (hear him talk about it here). In this state you are enjoying what you are doing and thinking of nothing else- you may even be unaware of time passing or what is happening around you. Spending time in play can help to balance feelings of being overwhelmed or too busy in other areas of life.
Challenge for week 10: Brainstorm a list of your favorite leisure activities, ways to play, or things that give you energy. Try to spend time doing at least one of those things this week. Notice how you feel during and after- did you lose track of time? Are you a bit more happy or content?
Winter play ideas:
- Snow play: skiing, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, hiking, etc.
- Hands-on projects: knitting or crocheting, sewing, making handmade lotions or soaps (ideas and recipes here), planting a succulent arrangement, painting, sewing seeds indoors for your spring garden, more ideas here.
- Gather: Get together with friends and family for dinner, brunch, drinks- whatever invites good conversation, laughter, and joy. Bonus points for getting together to ski, sled, or play and then relaxing near a bonfire or fire bowl with hot chocolate (or other drinks) and s’mores!
- Music: Practice or learn to play an instrument.
- Photography: Go on a photo safari. Consider practicing a new skill like capturing bokeh or using natural light instead of flash.
- Learn a new skill or practice your favorites: Take a ski or snowboard lesson, take a class (ballet or other dance, cooking, music, barre, martial arts, etc.), join a masters swim group, etc.
Don’t forget- happiness is cumulative! Spending time in this way makes large deposits to your happiness bank!
As we move through this project, I would love to hear about your survival skills, struggles, and success in the comments or by email (you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org)!
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*Important note: I am not a licensed mental health professional. This advice is not intended to take the place of therapy or medications. Please seek professional care if you are suffering from depression or anxiety symptoms.