Several winters ago, I found myself in a dark place. Literally. There were feet of snow piled up on the curbsides. The sun had gone into hibernation.
I'd started feeling sad. Literally. I had developed Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and because I'm not a huge fan of putting chemicals into my body, but didn't have the money to purchase one of those fancy happy lights, I opted for the most homeopathic possible methods of moving myself out of a depression.
I started a spreadsheet with things to do each day to help me feel more connected and like I was doing something to help myself and to help others. Among things on my spreadsheet were: read a French news article, click on care2.com, and spend at least 30 uninterrupted minutes out of doors.
It is the getting out of doors that I want to focus on now. I know that I've said it before and I know that I'll definitely say it again, but going outside is amazing. Even in the cold and the rain.
You would think that all those dark, gloomy winters ago, spending more time outside in the very weather that made me sad would make things worse, but the fresh air, the chance to listen to the quiet of the blanketed landscape, and my observations of all the animals that decided to forgo a trip to warmer climes really did work together to improve my overall mood.
Lately, I've been stealing lots of breaks between jobs to take my time outside. Today was another one of those wonderful days. I managed to make my escape from indoors about 10 minutes after a brief rain shower. I was happy to see all of the fall berries and crab apples assuming their places on branches and bushes in the woods. The fragrance of the apples carried with me as I left behind all worries of wet feet (waterproof boots, yay) and wandered up into the woods to spend some time remembering how big the world is next to the sheer cliff face of red sandstone at the top of one of my favourite trail heads.
And so... as always... I encourage you to search for the empty time in your day and if/when you find it, go say "Hello" to Mother Nature...
Boots from Charlotte Russe