I live in Nova Scotia, Canada. It is now getting dark by 5:30pm. It is cold, 0 celcius or below. There is snow falling outside. Between November and February, the early darkness, cold temperatures and snow will continue. We won’t see relief until April or May.
I’m not here to talk about the weather though. I am here to talk about how I FEEL in the weather, about Seasonal Affective Disorder. I feel moody. I feel irritable. I don’t want to go outside (which for me is odd as I require nature to truly feel peaceful). I am less able to handle the daily stressors that I was coping with effectively only a few weeks ago. What is happening ?
Stress, in the literal definition, means a pressure, tension or strain placed on an object. Bending metal, pulling chain or rope, puts physical stress on the material. Under excessive stress, these materials will break.
Humans are the same, but our pressure, tension and strain are not usually physical. They can be – under situations of extreme exercise or threat of physical harm, but otherwise most of human stress in North America is psychological. These pressures and strains are our daily obligations and expectations that we face in personal, professional and family interactions.
There has been a lot of debate recently over the impact that mindfulness and meditation have on people who practise these activities.
Some people swear it’s their salvation, others warn of the mental health damage they can leave in their wake.
So who can you believe ? Are mindfulness and meditation the key to happiness ? Or will they cause more mental health issues, bringing up horrible traumas that we have locked within us ? Is it all a fad, just another gimmick for us to spend our hard earned money on ?
(image from: http://www.shannonsusko.com/blog/2015/05/05/food-for-thought-by-bill-gates)
Bill Gates did not write these rules, he did not give a high school speech with these rules, and in fact he is a much nicer and positive person. The original author was Charles J. Sykes: “50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School: Real-World Antidotes to Feel-Good Education.”
I want to go through each one, and explain why I feel this mindset contributes to young people (and even older people) feeling horrible about themselves.
Whether you want to call it the winter blues, seasonal affective disorder (SAD) or seasonal depression, the winter season DOES produce feelings of sadness, hopelessness, despair and loneliness in many people. Usually this change occurs between the months of September and April, with many people noticing a serious change throughout January and February.
If the winter months have you feeling suicidal, I recommend seeking professional help from law enforcement, a hospital, your doctor, or mental health crisis centre.
Why Does the Weather Get Us Down ?
New year. New you. For many people, it seems like a great time to start fresh. We can finally start to eat healthier, start an exercise regime, maybe set some money aside in a separate bank account every week (which I actually tried last year, and made it an entire 7 weeks).
Not because I failed at last year’s resolution to save money (but I totally did), there are a NUMBER of reasons I will not be making any new year’s resolutions moving forward in my life.
Every once in a while we come across stories that can be life changing. While reading the book “The Tao of Pooh” by Benjamin Hoff, I was introduced to just such a tale.