Even though we know we need water to end the drought, we are tired of cold, gray days and we long for spring’s first warmth. Winter doesn’t seem so bad until it’s gone on for a few months and then, as impatient as if we were standing in front of a microwave waiting for 30 seconds to end, we want sunshine, we want to go outside, shed our jackets and coats and feel the sun (O.K. slathered in sunscreen) on our eager faces.
Some people might notice they feel more irritable, some a little blue or blah. Nothing seems interesting and curling up under a soft down comforter seems like just the right thing to do.
The acronym SAD was devised some years back for a newly discovered type of depression called, Seasonal Affective Disorder, basically meaning: Where is the sun and why is it so cold and why can’t I ride my bike, walk my dog, run on the beach, and how many more days do I have to stay inside?
SAD is particularly prevalent in places like Alaska because of the long months of twilight and cold temperatures. Light banks have been used successfully by many and they do help but nothing beats a nice, warm day to enjoy doing whatever you like to do, walking, bike riding, car riding, or just getting out of the house to enjoy the weather.
In March, we’ve had it with winter and sometimes we blame other things like our spouses or partners or kids or just life in general and then the sun shines and the air warms up and we feel just splendid. Spring is a time of renewal and rebirth and some of us are just happy we’ve arrived for yet another season of blue skies, puffy clouds, a road trip or two, and warm air, long days, and that indescribable feeling of starting out on yet another adventure. Hibernation is over and we come out to play, to work without umbrellas and boots and hats and gloves just like the snake shedding it’s skin, we put our “winter things” away until the next time.
If you feel unusually irritable or sad and nothing in particular has happened in your life, consider that you might be suffering from a bit of SAD and be easy on yourself. Try to exercise as that helps. Even if you roll off of the couch and onto the floor in front of the TV for a few calisthenics, it will help, yes it will! Eating healthy food and trying not to fill up on carbs is also helpful as is treating yourself to something special whether or not it is a favorite dessert or dinner and a movie out or a night without the kids. Trade babysitting with a friend and go out and hold hands with your honey if you have one or look for a honey if you’re lonely. In California there are thirty-three million people so loneliness has more to do with not knowing how to find that special person than that person not existing, but that’s another entry.
For now, close your eyes and imagine a favorite warm weather experience. Linger, don’t be in a hurry, look all around, remember every detail of what you love about this particular place or activity. Your subconscious mind won’t know if you’re there or you’re just dreaming and that’s the point, dream a little now, it’s called “active dreaming” and you can go wherever you want in your mind’s eye even if it is for just ten minutes a day. You’ll find the exercise relaxing and pleasurable and it will make this last clutch of winter easier, and before you know it, you’ll wake up into a delicious new season