Living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest can be an emotional drag sometimes. Those of you who live on the west side of the Cascade Mountain range know what I mean. The sun can be absent for days at a time...and it is just about to get darker. Daylight Savings Time officially ends this Sunday morning at 2:00 a.m. I personally won't be up at that time, Lord willing.
I used to get really depressed this time of year. I drove to work in the dark. I drove home in the dark. The only sunlight I might see (if it wasn't the normally cloudy fall/winter day) is if I got out of the office on my lunch hour. I'm getting depressed just writing this.
So, what has changed for me?
- First of all, I am outside a lot more during daylight hours. Even if the weather is not great, it's a good idea to get outside. Fresh air can make a positive impact.
- Next, making your inside environment brighter helps. A couple years ago, Tom had some additional lighting installed in our dining room and living room areas. That extra light makes a big impact.
- Eating right also can change your attitude. Especially during the times of year when we are indoors more, we are more prone to illness. What you eat can ward off colds and flu, but also make you feel better overall. I realize that carbs give an immediate "feel good" by raising serotonin levels, but try to make most of them complex carbs from whole grains, fresh fruit and veggies.
- Get plenty of rest. Good to practice all year long, but I know my mood can really be affected if I haven't gotten a good night's sleep.
- I found the biggest thing for me was doing something during my daylight hours that I loved. While I was working in an office environment, I wasn't living within my purpose. Stress levels were high for me. Now that I am able to home with my children (thank you, Honey!) and live in alignment with my purpose, my stress level has significantly decreased.
- Lastly, you can also use light therapy. We haven't tried this yet, but it is definitely on my radar. If you have SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and have purchased a light, whether a "dawn simulation" light or a 10,000-lux light, please comment below! I know others besides just me would value from your experience.