My (ex-)therapist and I concluded last winter that I probably have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Each autumn, I feel dread and anxiety as the days grow shorter. By the time daylight savings time kicks in and I’m leaving work in the dark at 4:30pm, I’m usually on my way to my “winter funk,” as I refer to it. And it lasts until the first 60-degree day!
This autumn, I have been thinking so much about SAD and how to ward it off. I’m continuing to take an omega 3 supplement every single day without fail, I am trying to get some fresh air and sunlight each & every day, I’m trying to be more physically & socially active, I now take a magnesium supplement most days (sometimes I forget), and I’ve been adding in a vitamin D supplement here & there (usually on rainy days or days I haven’t spent any time outdoors). I’ve been working on finding the time I need to do things that make me happy, like read a book, hang out with a girlfriend, or soak in a bubble bath. Also, I’m considering treating myself to a light therapy box the minute I notice a single sign of SAD. So far, things are good.
Today while I was driving to work, I realized that I focus so much on my anxieties and worries about things that might happen (or might not!) this winter that I completely ignore all of the things I love about this season. And there are many!
Obviously I love all of the holidays–Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s (well, I love the Eve but not so much the Day). The holidays, despite the stress they often bring, make the season brighter. They give me something to look forward to and take my mind off of my looming SAD.
The rosy cheeks. Everyone–EVERYONE–looks better out in the cold, with glowing pink cheeks. Trust me. And children playing in the chilly air are especially adorable when their little cheeks are flushed. Those pink cheeks are beckoning to be smooched!
Hot chocolate. MMM…
Christmas music. Even the Scroogiest Scrooge has to admit to having a favorite holiday song. I have like 10! And yes, I’m already listening to them.
The first snowfall. Heck, I’ll admit to even loving the second, third, and fourth snowfalls, too! (But I’m not the one who has to shovel, so that’s probably why.) What is more fun than making snow angels?!
The spirit of the holiday season. The giving to those less fortunate. The volunteering. The warm wishes & kind thoughts.
And I could go on, but I’d like to hear from you!
What are YOUR favorite things about winter?