If you live in the bay area you probably noticed that this past week you felt a little less energetic. It was the first cold and rainy week of the season, and the days have been getting noticeably shorter (maybe you used to wake up after dawn and now it is dark).
We are naturally seasonal animals trying to live in a post-modern world that refuses to recognize our animal natures.
Almost everyone we saw this week reported feeling a bit slowed down, many said that they slept in a bit more or took naps they don’t ordinarily take. But they all had good reasons for doing this. And those reasons didn’t have to do with the change in season.
We have commented before that the brain is a remarkable explanation generating organ. But sometimes it is not as good at recognizing which explanations are probable and which are not.
In our leather chair, we could notice that we felt a bit slowed down ourselves, and really how likely was it that person after person that we saw had had particularly exhausting events take place in their lives?
Of course this seasonal shift isn’t exactly the same as depression. It is more like hibernation. Feeling more like sleeping during the day, eating more to prepare for the winter, less energy to think of new projects.
But if you tend to think of depression as an explanation for changes in energy you could easily see this as depression. Or if you have a life that really doesn’t tolerate a reduction in hyperactive multi-tasking, you could find yourself suddenly unable to “keep up.”
We suggest –
- Accept the inevitable. You will have to adjust your expectations and your pace a bit for the next few months.
- Focus on the morning routine. If you can’t hibernate for the winter the key to maintaining your energy is bright light, mindfulness, social contact and perhaps aerobic activity in the morning.
Have a good Fall.