I don’t know how many people have trouble when the days are so short. But I sure do! There’s not enough time for me to go out and walk. If the temperature is up around the 50’s, it only stays there for about an hour and then drops rapidly and I end up stuck walking somewhere in the cold with numb fingers (from Raynaud’s). I have a treadmill, but let’s face it, it’s just not the same. There are no birds flying around the room, or deer peeking in the windows.
There is a reason people are more depressed during this time of year. They call it “seasonal affective disorder” (SAD). I have dealt with this more than once. But, the good thing is that now I know what it is and I can make changes to try to make it better. I have never tried one of those SAD therapy lamps–I would rather try to keep it natural. But I do try to take advantage of the sunlight we have. My Oncologist says I need to spend 20 minutes a day in the sun. That’s easy in the Spring, Summer and Fall, but not so much in the Winter. I wait until afternoon when the sun is shining on the back windows. I sit by the window with my hands and arms exposed for 20 minutes. Sometimes I close my eyes and try to meditate (something I am not good at), or I look outside and watch the birds (which I am good at).
I also try to make myself keep busy in the evenings. They are so very long, and I can only watch so much TV.
- I color, which is tricky with my tremors, and I get frustrated when I color out of the lines. But, it’s good therapy, and it makes the time go fast.
- I tried paint by numbers, but that was a total disaster! Talk about a mess!!!
- I spend time with the dogs, trying to teach them tricks. Trying is the operative word here. I have three rescues–all with their own strange problems. I can spend an hour just on “sit,” and then start over the next day.
- I am now managing the web site for the charity that raises money for Barr Lake. That gives me something to do in the evenings. I try to update something every couple of days, and I work on graphics and photos to keep things interesting.
I watch the sunsets which are almost always breathtaking.
- I do my grocery shopping online after I eat dinner–that way I don’t buy everything that I’m hungry for. My eyes are bigger than my stomach. And I have a problem with eating things I used to love. They don’t taste the same… For instance, I used to love tuna steaks. Now, the thought makes me ill. On the other hand, I used to hate brussels sprouts, but now I love them. My taste buds were turned around backwards from treatment.
- I even sometimes go to bed at 8:00 because that makes the evening feel shorter. I turn on some music or listen to an audio book until I get tired. I know you’re not supposed to use your bedroom for anything but sleep, but it works for me.
- When the morning comes, I try not to be angry that it’s an hour earlier than it should be. I look at the beauty and feel a sense of awe.
This morning was sunny–not particularly warm, but the sun is closer to us here in this mile-high area. I went outside to trim back the dead growth on the flowers in the front of the house. Then, there was a sound coming from behind me. It was a Downy Woodpecker on my tree. I got up to get my camera, fully expecting that it would fly away when I moved, but it didn’t. It must have really liked what it was eating on there. I managed to get a few photos before it took off. Made my morning!
I am grateful for the special moments that nature gives me daily. And I am thankful that I can still take a few photo memories!