Before moving to Chicago, I had heard of such a thing.....but never really believed in it. Kind of like Santa Clause or the Tooth Fairy. I didn't think it was real. I lived in Bozeman, Montana and Las Vegas, Nevada for a combined 13 years prior to moving back home to Chicago. Both of these previous cities were FILLED with sunshine, more than you can imagine - especially in the Big Sky State! Las Vegas averages roughly 300 days of sunshine a year, with barely any clouds - just direct, golden rays right to your eyeballs!
|Easier said than done, Barney|
(aka Doogie Howser)
Fast forward nearly 3 years and 3 Chicago winters later, I find myself waking up each morning, wondering "what is wrong with me?" I don't think it hit me as hard the first winter - new environment, new friends, new job. I didn't have the time to let it hit me. But these past 2 winters have been quite intense. Not only does my self esteem take a dive, but my energy and passion for life plummets too! I am caught in the middle of this emotional battle, telling myself "this isn't me!" and "why am I acting this way?" I am extremely passionate about teaching my fitness classes and even found myself constantly seeking last-minute subs because I just couldn't fake it. If you've ever met me, you probably think these sound like ridiculous statements......believe me, I would agree if I wasn't actually living it!
I was only open about these feeling with a few close people at first. Then I had an A-HA moment - turns out, I am not the only one!! You will notice when I mention Seasonal Affective
Tools I've used to help me get by this winter:
1. Bought a HappyLight - using it 20 min/day
2. Vitamin D - one drop in my coffee every morning
3. Took up watching Bob's Burgers with my love....
and laughing hysterically
4. Socializing - coffee dates with my girlfriends
I almost wish I would have wrote this blog back in December and January when this was affecting me the worst. You might be reading this right now, with sunshine blasting through your windows, thinking, yea I'm good. When in reality, this would have been a much more influential read a couple of months ago. Nonetheless, I think it is still important to understand that we are not alone. Many times when we are struggling, we think no one else can possibly understand what we are going through - when in fact, a lot of us can. Don't be afraid to speak up. Being affected by the weather, especially in places with little to no sunlight, IS normal and is certainly NOT a disorder.
Thanks for reading! And until next time. . . . . see you at the gym! :-)