Thursday, January 18, 2024

Dealing With Seasonal Affective Symptoms


When the clocks fall back in autumn, and my circadian rhythms are discombobulated by awakening in the dark and ending my workday in the dark, my psyche devolves into hibernation. As one who thrives in sunlight and the warmth of summer, I struggle throughout the months of diminished sunlight, temperatures less than 70 degrees Fahrenheit, bitter winds, ice, snow, frosty breath, treacherous roads and pathways, dry skin, having to wear socks, trees bereft of leaves, gloom, and an over all gray and dull brown landscape. 

Yes, there are moments when Mother Nature endows the earth with crystalline ice glistening on tree branches, shrubbery and ground cover. But, what often accompanies such beauty is downed power lines, the need to navigate ice covered streets and our ski slope driveway in the dark, and stays in motels. Bleh! 

By fate I’ve found myself living in rural northwestern Virginia on a plot of rocky ground that is inhospitable to plant life, several miles from what I consider civilization. It is a struggle to emerge from my self imposed cave to socialize, venture to Costco for wine, or even trek to the mailbox. 

In an attempt to improve my outlook, I’ve purchased a light from Amazon that is supposed to provide an alternative to the natural sunlight I crave. Although I’m only on my third day, I’ve noticed a benefit. My mood has lightened. My ability to focus on tasks is enhanced. My thoughts are less morose. I even felt compelled to experiment in the kitchen this evening with a spicy version of chicken and dumplings. 

Notwithstanding the above, I know that this too shall pass. Spring is fast approaching. Before long the Universe with scatter the land with hyacinth, crocus, and daffodils. ( the deer ate all my tulips). 

Hope springs eternal. I just need to get through the next 10 weeks of dark and gloomy days. I know I’m not alone. How do you deal with SAD?

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