Winter Snowstorms - Looking Through the Negatives to Find the Positives

Dr. Linda Hancock 04. The Fourth Year Self Improvement Self Improvement_Positive Attitude

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Winter can immobilize us! When flights are cancelled because and streets are blocked because of snowbanks, it doesn't matter what is booked on the calendar. We are forced to stay where we are and cancel plans.

Over the past few weeks, North America seems to be facing storms and weather patterns that are stronger than in recent history. We view news stories that feature stranded passengers who are camping out in airports waiting for re-booked flights. Scenes of individuals shoveling huge banks of snow or spinning in vehicles as they lose control over icy streets are common. Avalanches bury those who previously hoped to enjoy boarding or skiing on fresh snow. Electrical outages threaten the well-being and lives of those who do not have alternate sources for heat. Schools and businesses are closed.

It looks rather bleak but, if you look at it differently, winter weather offers some hidden positives that we might not otherwise experience. Consider the following:

  1. Time is given back to us - We live in a world where we tend to over-schedule ourselves. A winter storm can provide us with several hours or days of an empty calendar. This allows us the opportunity to nap, read or pay attention to a project that would otherwise be overlooked.
  2. Home can be enjoyed - Many people have told me that they love to be at home and consider it a "sanctuary" for them but then lament that they are hardly ever there. Horrible weather can gift us with some "home time" to enjoy.
  3. Perspective - It is easy to get wrapped up in the idea that things HAVE to happen, and we are INDISPENSABLE. When the weather interferes with our calendar, we have a chance to reconsider our values and let go of any obsessions we had in this regard.
  4. Relationships - Trouble often allows us to meet and learn to work with others. Together, neighbours who didn't know each other well, cooperate to clear snow, or help each other to face the common issues that the storm brought them. Even being stranded in an airport can give you a chance to carrying on conversations or even develop new friendships with others in the same dilemma.

The next time that you hear yourself complaining about the weather, perhaps you could think about this article and start focusing on the hidden benefits that might be available - if you will but look for them.

Dr. Linda Hancock, the author of “Life is An Adventure…every step of the way” and “Open for Business Success” is a Registered Psychologist who has a private practice in Medicine Hat. She can be reached at 403-529-6877 or through email

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