We’ve been experiencing a lot of gray, gloomy, rainy days here in central Pennsylvania. It’s only February, but the weather seems to be confused as the temps have ranged in the 40s to 50s and it keeps raining. And raining. And raining.
As these days lingered in my world, I began to notice a bit of sadness in my soul. Most things are going fine in my life – nothing earth-shattering – but I kept feeling increasingly sad. I found it hard to get out of bed. I didn’t feel like cleaning the house or making meals. I didn’t feel like writing. Or, if I did, it was all kind of dark and gloomy like the weather around me.
One day last week, we had a fog that just wouldn’t dissipate. My hubby kept writing me from work saying how “beautiful” it was outside. I kept looking out at the gloom and wondering, “Where is he?” Only one town away, he was experiencing bright sunshine and warmer temps. It seemed as if the dark cloud was only right over me.
Then yesterday came.
Finally, after days and days of gloom, the sun came out. It’s hard to explain how simply seeing the sun (the temps weren’t much warmer) made my day so much better. I was more social, I smiled more and I felt an energy I hadn’t felt in weeks.
(I can certainly make a Christian connection here about how we need the Son, too, to rid us of our depressed and downcast attitudes. But today I want to focus on something else.)
About a year ago, I published a little journal for people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. I’ll be honest, I haven’t sold many. Maybe it’s too depressing for some people to write down their feelings during those times. Or, perhaps, people simply don’t get the concept. But I want to tell you that thinking about and writing down how I’ve felt over the last week or so – during the gloom – and then experiencing how the sun changed my outlook so drastically, really opened my eyes to this phenomenon.
When we can acknowledge why we’re feeling a certain way about things, we can start to change how we react. I know that dark, dreary days bring me down and cause me to be inert. It’s a struggle to get moving or find any self worth in myself. And I know when I can sit in the sun, my mood is instantly lightened and I feel like I can take on the world!
SO. On the days of gloom, I seek activities outside the house. I call a friend. I engage in social activities. I KEEP BUSY. It isn’t easy. I want to stay in bed under the covers. But life goes on and I can’t stay in bed for a week (or more, the way this weather has been!) I must force myself to engage, to overcome how the weather is affecting me.
My journal gives me some of those tips. It helps me write down my mood, the weather, and reasons why I’m feeling the way I’m feeling. It gives me a chance to understand my mood shifts. Then, if the sun refuses to come out for weeks on end, it’s easier to deal with it all. I can cope because I know the reason and I know the strategies to utilize.
If you’re struggling during this time of year, I truly hope you will seek out help in the form of friends, websites, or even journals like mine. Don’t simply give in – find something that helps.
God bless and good luck. May our sunny days soon be abundant!
If you’d like to check out my journal on Amazon click here.