November is the darkest month of the entire year. As each day ticks further away from warm weather, bright colored leaves, and sun-on-my-skin, and closer to winter, the light sneaks away leaving me in darkness. With less light comes colder temps, and bracing myself until June. It brings a host of complications like different food cravings and adjusting my workout schedule. I lack energy and find it difficult to be positive. A Midwest winter is one long grind.
Like many others, I suffer from SAD, Season Affective Disorder. After living in the warmth of North Carolina for 4 years, I returned to the Midwest last year to experience a daunting and long, long winter. We even got 15 inches on May 2 that was so heavy it broke power lines. I never liked winter, but until this first snow, I didn’t realize there was more than just a dislike occurring. With each snowfall I found myself standing by the window, watching the white fluffy flakes fall, and sobbing. It felt like a heavy, cold, uncomfortable blanket of darkness, dismay and sadness.
This year, I have a plan. I may not enjoy being outside, and snow may make life more complicated, but at the very least I owe it to my body, emotions and the people around me to balance out my system.
1. Take appropriate levels of Vitamin D.
2. Continue taking B-Complex Vitamins.
3. Read the December 2013 upcoming article “The Fitness Almanac” and learn which foods to eat and what type of workout routine will work best for me until I can get outside again.
4. Use a light alarm clock.
My Philips Hf3470 Wake-up Light. I’ve already been using it and it makes the mornings much more pleasant.
5. Get an Ion light to sit in front of a few hours each day.
An example of an ion light. I’ve yet to decide on which brand and model. Do you have a favorite?
6. Visit my parents and take advantage of their fireplace.
7. Try to appreciate the small beauties of the season.
A beautiful winter landscape on my trek to work one morning last year.
8. Remember that this too shall pass.
What are your strategies for seeking light in the darkness? For more, don’t miss “Beating the Winter Blues” in the December 2013 issue.
Images from Amazon, and Casie Leigh Lukes.