It's been a gloomy year here in the northeast of the USA. I don't mean emotionally, I mean literally. We had record setting rain in 2011 with flooding and lots of depressing destruction. 2012 has been warmer than usual and only the skiers are complaining because most of us are happy for some breaks from high heating bills. But this year has started out with plenty of rain. I think we had one dry week and now we're back in the pattern of two rain storms per week. If you have a rain storm, you also have cloudy days leading up to in and following it. Lots of cloud and little sunshine.
Somewhere you might have read about the winter blues and how this phenomenon actually exists. Our bodies crave daylight and sunshine. The short days of winter depress us in real, physiological ways. I won't go into the chemical theories about that, but some of the remedies recommended are changing the lighting in your home to brighten your living area. There is another thing you can do also. Go outside.
On Saturday for the first time all week, the sun was shining brightly on the browned, hibernating lawn. A brisk wind kept the temperature at winter levels, but the sun makes up for a lot of that. The air was fresh and clean around our country home as I walked around the back acre and thought about the spring chores to come. We're still cleaning up some downed trees from 2012's stellar destruction weather. Everywhere in my flowerbeds, the warm winter has tricked the bulbs into early appearances. It looks like spring even though I know it could snow anytime of the next few weeks. But the sun kissed my skin, warmed my back and fueled me with energy and hope for the coming months.
So the health tip for this week: step outside. Push away from the keyboard and search outside for signs of spring and the renewal it brings to hearts and hopes. Our bodies need the sun to manufacture vitamin D and our souls recognize that distant glowing orb as the source of our energy and a promise of warmth and life.
Do you feel the winter blues? How do you combat them? Is spring making an early appearance where you live?