John Steinbeck had this to say about winter: “What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.” As we begin another winter that is filled with uncertainty about the pandemic and its variants, I’d like to share some of the wisdom of my clients about this time of year, and how we can still maintain hope and optimism.

“I used to dread December through March,” said my client, Ruth, age 87. “I hated cleaning the snow and ice off my car, I hated feeling cold, and I couldn’t wait for spring to come. Now, I love looking outside at the first snowfall. It’s so beautiful and peaceful. Maybe it’s because I’ve learned to appreciate every day that I wake up and I’m still here!” She laughed. “We never know how many days we have left, how many seasons we’ll see. It all goes by so fast. I don’t mind winter anymore because I’m warm inside my house, I have blankets and hot chocolate, and everything I need.”

Ruth’s attitude is a good reminder of how practicing gratitude can help us change our mindset. Here are some ways to keep your spirits up during winter and appreciate the season:

  • Slow down and observe the beauty of nature. Bundle up and take a walk in newly-fallen snow if you’re able. Watch the birds outside your window, and look for animal tracks in the snow.
  • Think of winter as a time to rest and relax. Wrap yourself in a cozy throw, light a candle, and drink hot tea or hot cocoa while you read or watch TV. In Denmark, the concept of “hygge” is about savoring life’s simple pleasures. Winter can be a time of hygge. Enjoy moments with family and friends, and cherish the things that bring you joy.
  • Make the most of your time indoors. Winter is a chance to catch up on household projects and hobbies.
  • Plan something fun to look forward to every month. Whether it’s dinner out, a shopping excursion, or visiting with the grandkids, have something on the calendar.

If you or someone in your family are facing aging challenges, please give us a call at 850-894-6720 or email us at We’ll be happy to assist!