Thursday, 5 January 2012

The Winter Blues

Beautiful sunset last night

As that first winter wore on for the most part we were warm and comfortable. With a lot to accomplish before spring we had many busy days. We watched as the days shortened and the sun set earlier and earlier.  We were busy from sunup to sundown but by mid December there is only 6 hours of sunlight. Of course if it was a cloudy day there was no sun and it seemed like we had a fair number of those days, at least way more than we had imagined there would be. Wasn't this supposed to be one of the sunniest places in Canada? The most frustrating part was looking outside just before bed and seeing all the lovely stars. Why couldn't it be cloudy at night and sunny during the day? This phenomena has continued to baffle me and we are starting to think it is a conspiracy.

Slowly over the next few weeks our moods seemed to shift and I'm sure now that it was due to the lack of sunshine. We started to get grumpy and snippy with each other. This was so not normal but what to do? It was obvious we were starting to get "cabin fever" or perhaps it was Seasonal Effectiveness Disorder. Whatever the cause it was becoming a real problem and even now as we are in that same time of year I am struggling again with it.

There are a few things I have learned over the years that do help me.

1. Get outside! This is sooo important. I need the Vitamin D from the sun and I'm not going to get it sitting around inside all day. Even if it is cold, I just bundle up and enjoy some fresh air. Even on a cloudy day I will still get some vitamin D.

2. Get some exercise! OK.. If I did number one now it's easy to do number two. Build a snowman if nothing else although here the weather is usually too cold and the snow won't stick. Exercise releases endorphin's which can help dispel those doldrums.

3. Turn on the radio. Music seems to help dispel the grumpies at least a bit.

4. Create something. Whether it be baking, sewing or some other sort of craft making something always gives me a sense of accomplishment.

5. Plan something special. We don't go out to eat but that doesn't mean we can't plan something in. A movie night, a special meal, a Skype coffee date with family.

Last night we had a spontaneous Netflix marathon and ended up baking cookies at midnight because Mountain Man was craving something sweet. Yum! Do you ever suffer with the winter blues? If so what do you do to get rid of them?


  1. Love your blog! I just found you through Frugally Sustainable and read it all this evening. I can't get enough of your adventures! Off the grid is something I have always wanted to try, to see if I can do it. I'd need to keep my computer, too. We live in Michigan now, but I'm originally from B.C.
    I can't wait to

  2. Cookies at midnight, mmmm, that's what I'm talking about! :)

  3. I have one of those SAD lights. When we get the awful inversions in Salt Lake, I turn it on for an hour when I get home and read or do work next to it. If I don't use it, I seem to want to just put on my pajamas and cocoon all night. I start getting pretty grumpy.

    I'm with you on the whole, "why is it cloudy all day and clear all night?" question. Seems like it does the same thing here.

  4. I definitely struggle during the winter months, and I say "Ditto!" to all the tips above.

    One additional piece of advice: get something done early in the morning. When you create something, or exercise, or use your light therapy box (thanks, Diane) right after getting up, you set a pattern for your day.

    Otherwise, it's all too easy to drift through the morning in a fog--wasting it on things you don't really care about. By nighttime, you've got the regular winter blues, PLUS a heaping helping of guilt for the day's squandered opportunities.

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