The other side of Seasonal Depression
Believe it or not, I too use to suffer. From seasonal depression, that is. I was the one who dreaded the winter months and always made sure to tell everyone I knew how much “I hated winter.” I tried everything to feel better. Tanning, vacations I could not afford, more than usual brandy on the rocks. I even bought one of those lights you put by your bed to wake you up with “sunlight” like light. I truly thought I hated winter and felt almost sad for most of it. I thought everything about winter and snow was just awful. I would tell myself this all day every day in those dark blustery months. Of course I was never going to snap out of it. I kept saying I would move to the beach one day and never have to face these winter months again.
Soon, I came to realize, that vacations in the winter months were not happening and I would never live on a beach. I had no choice but to accept the cold and actually come to even, dare I say it, LIKE it!
How did I start loving old man winter after years and years of making him feel more than unwelcome?
I made an effort. I decided one day I WAS JUST SIMPLY GOING TO LIKE IT. I made the choice. I could either live for basically 5 months out of the year in complete misery or I could turn it around and become almost giddy for those long, cold winter months.
First, I dressed for it! I stopped caring what I looked like and bought the biggest, puffiest, warmest coat I could find. The cold would no longer dampen my spirits. I started to find activities to do WITH winter instead of working AGAINST it. I started taking long hikes in the woods with the kids. I started sledding again. I built snowmen and forts. I used my fireplace often. We started having weekly tea parties with cute tea cups and scones. I placed loads of bird feeders all out of my back window and just sat and watched all the beauty of nature take its course. I stopped committing to things after dark, the time of day I dreaded going out.
The craziest thing I did though. The absolute most gutsy and, dare I say, most courageous thing I decided to do this winter was to run a half marathon in blizzard- like weather. Yep, blizzard. Wind blowing, treacherous snow, freezing temps.
We decided in October we “needed something” to keep us going through the winter. You know, something to take away the let down after New Years Day? We made a plan. We would make a plan to run, in the middle of January, 13.1 miles on the beautiful Heritage Trail in Iowa. I can honestly say I never thought we would stick to it. We trained in the rain, cold, snow, 5:00 am on Sundays. We never skipped a beat. I still can’t believe it myself. And, although she had a cold coming on and me a HUGE blister, my sister and I did it. We ran. We ran our hearts out and finished that marathon with tears in our eyes- (from the wind, of course).
I am so proud of us.
So, I challenge you. What will you do this season to knock those “winter blue’s” out of ya and start giving Mr. Old Man Winter a big HUG this year!
Be Well, Ad