|A vase full of sunshiny happiness brightens the dark days.|
The hours of daylight are now about as bleak as they are going to get. We are in peak season (in the northern hemisphere) for cold, dark days, and we know that mood, energy levels, and the seasons are connected. It is a great time to be able to slow things down.
While most people's schedules don't change throughout the year, they find that their energy levels wane along with the amount of sunshine and heat. One has just as much to do with less get-up-and-go.
A normal response to cold, dark days is lower energy levels, with about 10% to 25% of the population in northern climates experiencing more serious symptoms including Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
And we have a major holiday celebration at this time of year? Whose idea was that? It doesn't help when one feels more like sleeping in or eating a whole pie rather than going out into the chilly darkness. Being able to choose to do less and move more slowly right now is a nice nature-approved option.
Perhaps not so far fetched when NASA just announced some wonderfully torporific Deep Sleep research so they can slow down astronauts on their way to the planet Mars. Sleeping space travellers use less resources, and it makes the trip through a long winter in space more bearable.
Barring a few days, weeks, or months of sweet slumber, there are things that can be done to 'lighten' the mood in Winter whether you have SAD or not.
- light therapy
- using mirrors to reflect sunlight into home or office windows (I want some of these)
- Vitamin D supplements
- outdoor activity, especially on sunny days
The above suggestions are supported by scientific research. Having fresh flowers on display through the winter is not mentioned, but it makes sense. I recently discovered 50% off flowers at the grocery store, so I am giving them a try. So far the results are good.
The research also does not mention the effectiveness of having a reduced schedule to match reduced winter energy levels, but it does work. Winter is a good time to slow down.
Good day, and good night.