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.
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.