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Winter can be a difficult time for many. Even people who are not prone to SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) may feel the impact of the shorter days and lack of light of this time of year. Some experience a serious mood change when the seasons change. They may sleep too much, have little energy, and crave sweets and starchy foods. They may also feel depressed. Add to that that these are arguably turbulent and dark cultural times, and you have a recipe for mental gloom and doom that can be hard to shake.
However, the dark season also brings opportunities to add light into your life – whether it’s literally enjoying the glow of holiday lights, or whether it’s looking for the good in life rather than focusing on the negative. Now more than ever, it’s critical that you make a conscious effort to bring light into your life.
- Turn on the lights! Having a lot of lights on in your house may not be a substitute for natural sunlight, but it can raise your spirits. When it’s dark outside, a dark, gloomy house just contributes to a low mood. Replace ordinary light bulbs with full-spectrum bulbs. For severe cases, consider getting a lightbox.
- Snuggle with your cats. One of my favorite holiday traditions is to turn off all the lights in the living room except for those on the tree and put on some Christmas music. Inevitably, Allegra or Ruby will end up on my lap after just a few moments.
- Get outside! Go for a walk in the middle of the day, when the sun is at its highest point. Even if you can only get out for 10 minutes during your lunch break, this natural daylight break will do you a world of good.
- Do something nice for someone else. Pay the toll for the car behind you. Let someone cut in line ahead of you. Bring a co-worker a cup of coffee.
- Step way from the computer. Even though Facebook is a wonderful way to connect with friends, your newsfeed will most likely also be filled with upsetting things you’d rather not see. Be selective about what you consume online.
What one thing will you do today that is going to bring light into your life?
The quote on the image at the top is by Andy Hayes, the founder and creator of Plum Deluxe, a website that helps people create moments that matter. Andy started the site to share the lessons he learned from his mother, who lost her 6 year battle with breast cancer. “Those 6 years were the best years of her life,” wrote Andy. “Her fitness improved, she spent a lot of time with friends and traveling, and her positivity was off the charts. My hope is to help others live a good life without the need for a major life event.” In an effort to further connect with his community, Andy also launched his own line of organic, fair trade loose leaf teas.
*FTC Disclosure: The Conscious Cat is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to products on Amazon. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. We only spread the word about products and services we’ve either used or would use ourselves.