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Can a walk in the snow lift your mood?

In January 2021, I wrote a blog about walking in the snow, that I never published – perfectionism got the better of me!

Three months later, I get a second chance. The snow has reappeared (in April!) and I find myself reflecting again on how snow brightens my mood.

Snow in Spring

Today it’s Monday, and as I draw the curtains, I’m surprised to see snow outside! I’d forgotten snow was forecast for overnight. My first word is ‘Wow!’ but then I say my youngest child’s name, knowing she will be so happy to have a second chance to play in the snow.

To explain a little, last time it snowed, it took us ages to get out of the house. By that time, the snow was melting fast. This time, I approach the day differently. I wake her up so she has plenty of time to get out and enjoy it.

I sit downstairs to write, wondering about second chances and whether snow in Spring will feel different to Winter snow?

Different feelings in different seasons

In January, we were in lockdown and my mood was much lower. We felt hemmed in. Our moods were dipping, with Christmas over and it being the depths of Winter. I was also struggling with schooling at home and not making enough time for myself.

“I was desperate this weekend to have time away from them, so I could recharge myself and change my world view.”

From Crunch, slosh and plop blog written on 27 January 2021

This time, I consciously waited a while, before I went for a walk in the same woodland that I visited in January. Again, the snow was already in fast-thaw.

Would it be the same?

In some ways, yes, it was. My senses came alive again, with the sound of the snow melting and dripping off the trees, the splosh of slush and mud under my feet and the coolness in the air.

A magpie pecks at the ground surrounded by melting snow and puddles in the woods

“My first thought was ‘this is like walking in the rain’! It was a super sensory experience, as soon as I crossed the little bridge into the nature reserve.”

From Crunch, slosh and plop blog written on 27 January 2021

But this time, I saw the woods with fresh, different eyes. I’m practising being more mindful when taking photographs, so maybe that’s why I felt more alert and aware today?

All I could hear was the drip, drip of the snow falling from the trees and shrubs around me. Yes, there were still swathes of snow on the branches, but most was on fast-defrost as the winter sun burnt through the grey sky.”

From Crunch, slosh and plop blog written on 27 January 2021

As I often do on my walks, I slowed down my pace and turned my attention to what’s around me. It’s Spring so I soon tune into the loud birdsong and tweeting in the trees. The sounds of a woodpecker knocking’ on a hollow tree echoes in the distance.

So many robins fly around or appear on the path, picking over the soil to find tasty grubs. I take in the patterns from the melting snow and notice light dustings of snow around me.

Wellbeing through nature

In the new year, the woodland was bare with little greenery. I found myself wondering why my mood was lifting as I walked. Was it the snow or the circumstances we were in at the time?

Today the woodland feels different. It’s lush and greener – the bluebells and wood sorrel are coming into flower and the space feels brighter and more alive.

The sun tries to break through, like it did in Winter, but this time, the warmth is coming back. As I write and reflect later on my walk, I realise how much my mood has shifted since January. I feel more positive again, more ready to do new things that bring me joy.

Fresh starts and second chances

Today is also the first day when many UK businesses are re-opening, plus it’s still the Easter school holidays. So once again, gratitude comes into play.

Today became a second chance day. A day to consciously slow down and enjoy the wonders of nature as if I were a child again.

To find joy in the snow and realise that second chances don’t come along very often, so you have to seize them while you can!

Isn’t it amazing how a change of seasons and circumstances can make such a difference?

I’m going to publish that January snow blog too! Done is better than perfect…

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