With the clocks rolling back last night giving us all an extra hour in bed, there will come the realisation for many, that the “Long Dark lonely nights are back”. This can be a very difficult period for many and not just those who live on their own. There’s something unatural about arising when its still dark and coming “Home in the evening” when it is already dark.
For many the changing of the clocks is the precursor to “The Christmas Rush”, and the worry of making it through it all, this year again. Added financial burdens regarding food,heating and warm clothing can all lead to a drop in general “day to day” mood in a large sector of the population. For others, the memories of happier times with loved ones, who for whatever reason, are no longer with us, can be tremendously difficult to bear.
With the weather now colder, and less daylight hours available, many retreat from their normal life-giving activites of summer. We tend to exercise less, go out less, meet less people and participate in fewer community social events. We tend to lay down in the path of the “Winter Blues”, and permit it to walk completely all over us, and mess up our mood in the process.
Being somewhat “Scrooge-like” myself, and therefore one who cowers from the merriment and joy of the Christmas Season, I too, more often than not, have succumed to the depressive spirits of winter. A combination of life circumstances lead to me dreading the turn of the days each year, but in time, I found out that facing those fears, and comimg to know that “This too shall pass”, brought about a much needed remedy for the winter blues.
Instead of curling up to die to life as it was, I now open myself up to the new possibilities of the long, dark winter evenings, and think of new areas in which to skill myself and have some fun.
Over the years I’ve given language classes and Jiving and Sean Nós Dancing a whirl. I’ve helped produce plays and stage shows. I’ve renewed Gym memberships, swam multiple lengths of my local swimming pool and bought extra warms layers in which to walk and walk in.
In the end I often actually found myself sorry the winter season was over, but did realise that ultimately the seasons, just like life itself are cyclical and need each other. We too need the sleep of winter to restore ourselves, as much as the earth itself benefits from the rest of winter, allowing a new year to spring forth.
In what way might you try to skill yourself and have more fun this winter?