Something I struggle with is the strong correlation between the weather and my mood. As the weather gets increasingly dark, so does my mood. The past week or so has been cloudy and rainy each day, and despite strong efforts to the contrary, I feel my mood sinking down. It isn’t going to get better for awhile, as the forecast is for the rain to continue over at least the next week. I’ve tried many of the recommendations – I had a lamp that I sat next to each day for a half hour, providing extra light, but that never really seemed to make a difference. I try to get enough rest, so that fatigue isn’t a contributing factor. I think for me, the best thing I can do is to get exercise. Of course, my exercise of choice is walking, and walking in the rain doesn’t really make me feel good. But letting something over which I have no control (weather) dictate my mood is just not acceptable.
I try to think of it differently – I tell myself it’s a good day for a cup of tea and a good book. This works for about a day. Next I try to tell myself it’s a great opportunity to finish projects that I have been procrastinating. That, too, works only for a short time. So I’ve been trying to come up with strategies that might work better for me. I have at least one idea to try, and it came from my sweet husband.
My husband has to be out of town for the next week. He has been traveling for business more than we imagined, and that, too, has been a challenge. Unlike many married couples, we love being together, and hate being apart. So this morning, we were having our usual conversation about how I might spend my time while he is away. I have learned that keeping busy is very important, or I miss him desperately. He was giving me ideas, such as finishing seasonal work in my garden, organizing my office and most importantly, walking Izzy, my puppy. These are typical suggestions, but there was one difference. He suggested that this time, I should attempt to walk every day, regardless of the weather. Rather than see that it is cloudy and thus decide walking is not possible, I could just do it. Being outside always makes me feel so much better. And I do find myself speculating about the weather, usually erring on the side of remaining indoors. But deciding otherwise – to go ahead and walk anyway – gives at least a bit of the control over my mood back to me. I will stop letting the weather dictate my actions or my moods.
There are many days here that are cloudy without rain. Cloudy days can be lovely for walking. So this time, while he is away, I am going to try to emulate one of my favorite people, who lets very little stop her from accomplishing what she wants to do. What is the worst that can happen? We could get wet. Although uncomfortable, that doesn’t really matter. We would just come home and dry off, snuggle under a warm blanket, take a warm shower. . . I have no meetings to attend, no obligations to meet. Being wet is not a problem. So, my goal for fighting a dark mood will be to walk every single day. Every day. Even if it *is* raining. And to walk the entire 3.5 mile route I always walk. And if I can manage this in the rainy weather, perhaps it isn’t too much of a stretch to keep at it when it is snowing. We’ll see. But it’s a good goal for now.