One of my favorite apps tells me that January 30th was the first day, in 2019, that the sun didn’t set until 5 pm! The daylight is screaming back now! 😎 (Due to there being mountains between my house and the western horizon, you still can’t actually see the sun here yet, at 5 pm. But that will be coming soon!)
I’ve mentioned, previously, that I struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the winter months. This January, my SAD symptoms haven’t been quite as severe as I’ve experienced in the past. This could be due, in part, to the fact that we’ve had a warmer-than-normal winter. This has allowed us to be able to enjoy more sunny days (and even spend some time outside, soaking up that natural Vitamin D!) I also switched to a 5000IU dosage of Vitamin D3† as my daily supplement. I’ve never taken this high a dosage before, but I’ve been noticing some positive effects. I will start taking this larger amount again this fall, to see if it helps keep the SAD symptoms from kicking in too severely to begin with.
It’s amazing to me how just knowing the days are getting longer raises my spirits. While we have gained almost an hour of daylight since the Winter Solstice, barely one month ago, it is still mostly dark by 5:30 at night. There is something about the fact, though, that when I’m standing in the kitchen, preparing dinner, instead of there being complete blackness outside the window, there’s–at least a small hint–of light outside. That really improves my outlook on things! I still feel the suffocating frustration at how little daylight we have, but since I KNOW it’s going to continue staying lighter, longer, each and every day, this irritation slackens. It also helps that I know our daylight will continue lengthening for the next 6 months! That’s enough to ease the ache considerably!
My more positive mood is, probably, also due in part to my new schedule. January was always the worst month of the year at my former job. That stress, combined with my struggle with the lack of daylight, caused a two-pronged attack on my spirits.
For the record, a freelancer’s life does come with its own stressors (contrary to popular belief, we don’t just sit on the couch eating Bon Bon’s all day! 😝) There’s the worry caused by always working on short-term projects, which results in little job security. This, obviously, means you always need to seek out new work. And it turns out, you have to work harder when you literally don’t get paid unless you’re performing work-related tasks. You realize how easy it is to slack off at a “normal” job when you receive a paycheck regardless of how long you spend talking to your friend, or how much time you frit away surreptitiously checking Facebook when the boss isn’t looking. 😇)
I think the biggest advantage of my new work environment is that it allows me the opportunity to see daylight so regularly. Whether it’s sitting inside with the sun streaming in the windows or watching the snowflakes float down on a cold day; or sitting outside on the back patio as the sun bathes down on a warm day, I’m at least able to experience it now. This seems to make all the difference to help ease the symptoms of anxiety and winter depression that I have experienced in the past, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
As our long, dark days wane, I hope anyone else who struggles with this exasperating condition is finding their struggle is easing as well. As our sun-filled days continue to increase in both duration and frequency, let’s all take a lesson from the Beatles, and get out there and make it a good day, sunshine! 😎
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