Updated: Feb 10
I have always, and I mean always, loved winter. Growing up I could not wait until the first snow of the year. It has always been a time of year that I felt, well...happy. I loved all of it from the crisp air to the shorter days when darkness would set in before dinner. Of course others around me did not always share my enthusiasm for the short dark cold days of the year but I just loved them, that is until this year.
I'm not sure if it is a result of my busy schedule or my Raynaud's but this year I find that I am longing for more daylight hours and warm sunshine. This is a completely new feeling for me and quite honestly, I have no idea what to do with these feelings.
I find myself daydreaming about walking along the beach feeling the warm sun on my skin looking for shells. I think about getting up early to watch the sunrise or watching the moonrise once the daylight fades. Maybe I am just homesick for the ocean having grown up in Vero Beach, Florida. Maybe I am just tired from all my recent studies at Kripalu, or working my day job, helping others, and running the studio. Maybe it is because we have not had much snow which is keeping me away from the ski slopes. Whatever it is I don't like it and it is preventing me from being able to enjoy this winter season. This is the first year that I can relate to all of you who have shared with me your lack of appreciation for the cold, dark winters.
So what do you do with the winter blues? That overall "blah" feeling? Since it is new for me, I have found that trying to incorporate a daily routine is helpful. I am the least routine person that I know, so much so that if you told me that I would need to wash my car every Sunday that I would sell the car to not be tied down to a scheduled event. I thrive on spontaneity and the freedom to go where the wind takes me but this winter in the dark and short days I find that I crave consistency.
Every evening I plan my meals and activities around a 10pm bedtime. I know that if I aspire to be ready to climb into bed and fall asleep that I can wrap up any outings or chores and still get some rest. Having a set bedtime enables me to enjoy my day despite the fact that it is dark at 6pm and I feel as though my day is over when in reality I have four more hours in which I could be productive or social.
In addition, I set most of my activities to begin no earlier than 9am. Of course I am awake and moving long before then but I am not obligated to anyone or anything until the sun has been up and I have had some time to organize my time for the day so that I can be more productive. Recently, I purchased a natural light "alarm" clock and it has really helped me get up in the morning. Rather than awaking to a jarring sound, no matter how "pleasant", I awake to a light that simulates a sunrise. It is wonderful!
The simple addition of a regular bedtime as well as a morning start time has helped me enjoy this winter in a way that in the past never seemed to need any help. Although the days are shorter, the amount of time which I have to enjoy each of them has remained the same and it is only the way that I feel that has changed. In January, I have made two minor adjustments that have helped changed my state of mind which is enough until the snow comes and I can enjoy winter on the ski slopes!
Think about how you feel as the seasons change and what you need to to in order to live your best life each day no matter how much daylight is available.