I live in a state where we have time changes in the spring and fall. In the spring, the time change brings more light, nicer weather and lifted spirits. However, the fall brings darkness earlier.
Statistically, more people fall to depression or negative thoughts during the fall. Some say it is due to the change in weather, some say it is because of the time change and the earlier dark. I think it is a combination of a lot of things.
Because I live where we have four true seasons, I have been able to observe how the change of weather affects people’s attitudes and spirits.
Summer time is hot around here most years. People are out and about, frequenting pools and splash pads, soaking up the sun and seem overall happy. Clothing appears confident and bold. Suntanned skin seems to glisten, faces appear to have almost a glow to them as they gleam with color and sweat. Hair pulled into messy buns and comfortable styles that allow the neck to be cool and kissed by the sun. Beaches and area pools are full of people, sand castles and writing in the sand brighten someone’s day. The overall spirit observed around you is carefree and enlightening.
When fall comes, it seems a nice break from the extreme heat of the summer. Cooler nights come after hot days. It is almost relaxing to be out and about in the warm of the day and then throw a light jacket on for an evening stroll. Quickly the days become shorter and the nights creep in earlier. The days slowly get cooler and cooler. Fall rains bring in cold fronts that make the sky dreary. Mornings are brisk but comfortable to sit out on the porch, read a book and drink a warm cup of coffee or tea. Moods are changing. Clothing starts to darken in color and confidence. Hiking and dog walking seems to pick up as the days are not as hot and the gentle breeze is calming. People begin to be more reserved and there is less cheerful greetings.
Before you know it, the days and nights get colder and colder. It is soon chilling to the bone to go outside. You layer in clothing and it becomes an inconvenience to leave the house. You would rather snuggle up on the couch in a warm blanket, turn on a good movie and have warm soup. Going for a walk or staying outdoors very long hurts. You feel your spirits are low. You just want to stay in bed all day instead of function normally. Depression seems easier. Getting up for work or chores is pushed aside. You call in sick just to stay home by yourself. You are unsure if you will make it to spring. It seems so far away. You long for the warmer days.
Finally, you get a day that is warm and you get encouraged that maybe you will make it to spring. Maybe you will see the sun and it will gleam on your face again. The warmth of that one day brings a smile to your face and you have a hope for more of those days. Slowly the days begin to get warmer. You see the first green shoot of spring in your yard. An early spring tulip pops its head out of the ground. It brings an instant smile to your face. You have a new sense of happiness. Maybe you consider adopting a new pet or getting some chicks to add to your homestead. Your spirits start to lift. New life, new hope, new sense of adventure. Walking, hiking and enjoying the warmer days out of doors is breathtakingly wonderful. You are again happy. You made it through yet another depressing winter.
Did you feel the change with me? Do you experience seasonal depression or loneliness? There are ways to counter this. Make it a point on the coldest days to do something for yourself or others. That is an instant way to feel satisfied. Maybe you could make a batch of cookies and bring it to the neighbor. You know of someone who is under the weather, make them a pot of soup and fresh bread.
A friend recently started to randomly send out postcards to friends and family. What a great way to send cheer to someone in a simple way. Say hi or give a smile to someone in passing can go a long way. Wear bright colors on the gloomiest of days. Color could be enough to snap someone out of their funk. So many simple things can be done to make a big difference in those around you.
What are some of your ideas? What have you done to shine light in the darkness? I want to hear from you in the comments!