Thursday, January 26, 2012
Don't Fight It, Adjust To The Season
Now that the holidays are over, most of us are experiencing a kind of a slump. All of the partying, feasting and plain hard work has us feeling deflated both emotionally and physically. Some will feel disappointed for putting on a few unwanted pounds, and others will rue outspending their Christmas budget.
Feeling blue is a natural result of all these circumstances. In addition, we are looking at grey skies, and facing cold temperatures and unpredictable weather condition for at least another couple of months. We envy those who live in warmer climates, and those who can get away from it all.
At work, the boss gives his “inspirational” speech about grabbing the new year by the horns, bringing more energy and enthusiasm and more fresh ideas. You are just not feeling it, and you don't feel happy in general.
Maybe you have become more irritable with family members and co-workers and just can't shake the funk. Before you start making drastic changes in your life, or blaming others for your state of mind, consider this:
Loss of energizing sunlight has a substantial negative affect on our sense of well being. Consider that much of the animal word adjusts to this by hibernating, eating stored food and moving very little. Our forefathers followed their example fairly closely. They also stored up food and wood to keep themselves warm, and indoor activities were low key: reading, writing letters, playing music, mending clothes etc. Candles were expensive then, so bedtime came early and with plenty of homemade covers.
Compare that to our lives today. It is true that heating and lighting are plentiful now and we don't have to store a winter supply of food anymore, but the demands on our physical and cognitive energies are the same now as they are in June. We also have to get to our jobs everyday, no matter how difficult that becomes: Shuffling snow, scraping ice, getting into an ice-cold car, dangerous road conditions and parking even more limited due to drifts and snow pileups. Some of us have to wait in the streets for public transportation, unprotected from whatever blows, and then attack our workload with energy and enthusiasm!
Of course we feel low and cranky. Our immune system is being drained and we experience more illnesses than in the rest of the year.
Lets help ourselves as much as possible to make life more pleasant till spring. The winter sun is harsh and gives no comfort, but full spectrum light from lamps is proven to help many who suffer from seasonal light depravation. Light up the rooms you frequent most. Make the kind of meals grandma made and brought you comfort. Don't be careless about wearing proper clothing! Go to bed one hour earlier than you usually do - it does wonders for you the next day - and take weekend naps when you can.
To combat boredom, have comfy get-togethers with friends to watch a good movie. Everyone brings a small warm dish to split work and expense. Have game nights, play charades – you can even have poetry night were everybody reads their favorite poem and talks about their reason why it is so. You can have a karaoke night with themes: all Beatles or country, or whatever will be fun.
Remember to make your entertainments shorter to get more rest, and cheaper to catch up from holiday budget busters. Keep warm. This too shall pass.