It sneaks up on me every year, even though I know that it's coming. I try to prepare myself, physically and mentally. I go to bed at a reasonable hour. I keep the alarm set for 5:00am, and wake when it goes off, not matter how dark or cold it is on the other side of my warm bed. I eat good, healthy foods that nourish my body, paying attention to what is in season and what types of foods my body is craving (hearty soups and warm, comforting foods.. you won't catch me eating salads in January no matter how much I love them). I mentally go over a schedule of the days events in my head, of things to do, and stuff to get done and how to keep busy in the evenings. I plan to exercise, keeping active and getting that boost of feel good chemicals that they tell you will help, even with the lack of sunshine in the winter, but the cold and the dark are my worst enemy in more ways that one, and it doesn't always happen.
Despite my best efforts, once we get past Christmas, and January hits, winter weighs down heavy on me like an elephant settling in for a nap. It's dark in the morning, until about a half hour before I leave for work, and it's dark within an hour of getting home at the end of the day. On top of that, January is typically the coldest month in N.H. The cold, the dark, the lack of sunshine and the fresh air drive me to want to hole up like a bear and not come out again until spring. If effects my mood, it effects my sleeping, it effects my emotional well being and I struggle with it every single year.
This year I thought I'd be OK. It hasn't been really cold until the past few weeks. But once Christmas break got here, and I spent the week really taking it easy, and relaxing and not doing a whole lot of anything (I read, watched movies, knit, stared out the window if I felt like it, wasted far too much time on the internet).. which I really, truly needed, I got into that cycle of "winter hibernation" that is so hard to break out of. Especially when you suffer from S.A.D. The past few weeks that we've been back in school haven't been as crazy as life usually is around here. We've been juggling the usual stuff, and chores and appointments and such. Yet I find that after dinner is cleaned up, instead of the things I could be, or want to be doing.. I head to my chair with my blanket and my knitting or my laptop, and there I stay until it's time to head to bed. The past few weekends have been really laid back, and lazy kind of weekends. I am OK with all of this.
I am taking this month to ease back into the groove of things. To continue taking care of myself, and not putting too much stress on myself to "do this and do that and why aren't you (fill in whatever I think I should be doing here). February is going to be here soon enough and it will be crazy until school gets out and then my summer job will start and round and round we go. Right now I have to deal with an elbow that still hurts, some family stuff that is weighing heavy on my heart, and the dark demons of winter depression. In the meantime.. if I'm a little more "lazy" than normal, I think that is going to have to be OK.