November is the ̶w̶o̶r̶s̶t̶ hardest month for me.
We go from…
The drive home from work changes from being MAYBE in daylight to this:
What is worse to me is that October is the tail end of fall and November…. the beginning of winter. When I feel blah in November or chilled, I think of what is coming — clearing snow off of the windshield, hands hurting from the sting, days growing shorter and shorter. Sigh.
It doesn’t help that this is a month with a central theme of giving thanks. Be thankful for THIS!? Really?
Last winter one dreary day in January when I was at my desk at work (yes, I know I’ve jumped topics or months) I happened to Google ‘Albany NY gloomy winter’ and discovered that I really was facing a mental challenge. The article, https://www.newyorkupstate.com/weather/2016/11/upstate_ny_cities_among_cloudiest_in_the_us.html explained to me that Albany and a few other cities in NY state have a lot of clouds and they particularly have a lot of clouds during the winter months, when the number of daylight hours are really short.
The cloudiest month of the year in Upstate is December: For much of the region, the sun pokes through the clouds about a quarter of the time between sunrise and sunset.
Ouch! No wonder I feel a bit like the happiness and oxygen are missing.
It helps me to recognize that November IS the toughest month. I don’t really think December is easier. I think it is just too darn busy for me to feel blah. November I have plenty of time to dwell on my blahness. January can be tough, but there is always a bit of feeling of having conquered the holidays, having fed myself on family hugs and family feast. Maybe I exercise more in January because of those December feasts and that helps also.
Recognizing that November is hard means I need to take steps to combat it. Like I could (not saying that I always do….)
- create a short exercise habit (one requiring little willpower) in the morning. Walk or jog on the treadmill or just go for a couple laps around the house with the dogs.
- use the ‘Happy Light’ lamp
- plan something that I’m really looking forward in mid-November like a day with my friends
- hug my dogs
- use the extra hours of darkness to get a bit more caught up on sleep, which helps one’s mental outlook
Simply remembering that I’ve felt this way before and always gotten through it, can also help me. As can, dare I say it, remembering what I have going for me.
I am, after all, complaining about my drive home from work. I am thankful to be gainfully employed as I found unemployment pretty rough.
And my home…with leaves matted to the ground… I took a photo the other day to show ‘how depressing’ everything looks and thought, ‘geez Anne, you live in a pretty nice wooded environment. There is a lot of beauty and nature here to enjoy.’
I started this post in darkness, sitting at my desk at home. Light has come and dare I say it, it looks like there may be a bit of brightness to the sky. Here is my view.
I’m off to try and rake some leaves (and acorns) that are temporarily unfrozen from my lawn.