The excitement of the holidays are becoming a distant memory and for many people, as we transition through January,the effects of winter's cold and short on daylight days has been quietly chipping away at them. I have noticed that winter's lack of sunshine, short daylight days and cold temperatures certainly seem to claw away at me too. Often leaving me wishing I could just sleep through winter and wake-up to April. It was not always like this for me.
Though I admit winter was never my favourite season, I still always managed to discover things to do to make it fun a season . Not a fan of skiing, but winter to me meant joining my friends (whom for most had been skiing since childhood) and after a quick run or two on the bunny hill - so I could say with honesty that I did go down "a" hill - I would find my way to the lodge ... where hot chocolate and a warm fireplace were always found. Skating at Nathan Phillips Square was also a fun outing with friends. There were other things like tobogganing, snowmobiling or taking a quick trip to the Bahamas that made getting through winter a breeze.
Though the dark hole that was swallowing me up the winter after my accident was attributed to my injuries and being in the hospital. It would become evident the second winter and through subsequent winters (6 in total so far) that something was happening and affecting me as soon as the cold, dark days of winter began to approach. Eventually SAD (seasonal affective disorder) could not be denied was taking hold of me and due to my brain injury and the various fractures I had sustained in the accident SAD would send me deeper into the black hole of winter blues.
Having fought a great fight to live, I am not about to have a few months each year continue to be taken away from me, any more than they already have. I have noticed, as soon as the time changes my downward spiral starts, gaining momentum and reaching a dangerous peak by mid-winter. Some of the signals for me that I'm treading into SAD, have included:
~ My anxiety increases and my thoughts start to have a negative undertone
~ My energy levels deplete with just thinking about doing something
~ Being uninterested in most activities that were fun and I enjoyed
~ Everything starts to bother me
Some ways I have found to help or at the very least lessen the intensity of SAD, for me are:
~ A spa outing (alone or with friends) - a massage, body treatment can be most beneficial to the body
~ Taking Dolce and Gabbana for morning and mid-day walk
~ When I feel signals popping up, I refrain from a glass of wine with dinner or any alcoholic beverages for that matter
~ Take a technical break - from the internet, blogging or other social media
~ Make plans to meet friend(s) for dinner, a stroll in the city (especially with good temps) face to face interaction with others is priceless medicine
~ Planning an escape to a warm climate location - even if for only a 3/4 day week-end
I'm certain the winter months would have turned me into a hermit, if it were not for the love and support I get from family and friends who keep an extra-eye on me during the winter. If they don't hear from me, or I'm not responding to calls or emails ~ they know I'm in need of a life-saver ... and an unexpected visit from them.
Are you or someone you know affected by
What have you found helpful to ease through winter?