Living in southern Ontario we go through a change of seasons. Right now, we are coming near to the end of fall and the weather is getting colder and soon winter will be upon us.
For me the changing of seasons can be joyous, reflective, sad, and sometimes a mix of all of these. You see, right now we have gone through the leaves changing colour. Our maple trees have been painted with beautiful reds, yellows, and oranges. Our oak trees have orange and rust coloured leaves. They are beautifully set off by all our coniferous trees (pines, cedars, spruces, etc.,) that stay green year-round. As you can tell, I like this time of year. The beauty that surrounds us is astounding. The small animals are foraging for food. As I type this there is a little red squirrel playing in the maple tree outside my front window, gathering the last of the maple keys from the tree before they fall to the ground. He is so funny because he is stretching and hanging to try to get every last one. He really has made me smile
I woke this morning and, when I discovered that we had a very slight bit of snow, my thought was, Ugh, here we go … fall has come to an end. My mood went somewhat melancholy as winter means cold weather, shorter days, ice, and snow. It truly affected my mood and all day I have been somewhat blue, until the little squirrel made me smile. Actually, he made me snicker and I’m feeling somewhat lighter hearted watching him run around my tree, checking every branch.
When I was little, none of the seasons bothered me. Each one was as good as the next. I was active and outside in all four seasons. I just dressed differently and then off I went. The only time we didn’t go outside in the winter was when it was just so cold that it was physically harmful to go out because you would freeze. Now I get somewhat depressed in the wintertime and I end up inside. I dream of the week vacation away in the sunny south soaking up the sun. But what I realize is it really isn’t the cold weather that really gets to me. It is the shorter days.
I know many parts of the world experience shorter days. In case you don’t, it means that the daylight is with us for a shorter and shorter period of time. We literally get up in the dark, go off to work in the dark, and come home from work in the dark. I’ve noticed this happening over the last couple of weeks, more and more each day. Then today I realized, as they are announcing it all over the radio, this weekend we turn our clocks back, as in southern Ontario we observe daylight savings time.
This change in the amount of daylight we have and the amount of sunshine we receive really does have an impact on us, as our body and spirit need the rays of the sun to recharge our energy. I never used to understand this and couldn’t quite figure out why our winters seem to affect the moods of certain people. I’ve realized that I’m one of those and I do things to assist myself through the winter. A couple of these items are: I take Vitamin D oil and I have a light that I use that simulates the suns rays. This is a real thing and I would encourage you, if you feel off, blue, or depressed during the winter months, you should seek professional help and not just tough your way through it. Your body is meant to take in the sun rays and the sun rays feed us with its luscious vitamin D.
Like always, we have a choice. This choice is to merely survive through the winter or to thrive through the winter. For me this year I think I would prefer to thrive through the winter and see how much I can enjoy myself and be myself.