Work With It

October 1, 2009

The good news is I woke up two minutes before my alarm went off this morning. I love when that happens. With only two minutes to spare I didn’t feel as if I’d been robbed of any precious snooze time. I was also able to avoid the shock involved when my alarm rips me out of a deep sleep. My clocks mild tone is jarring enough to shoot me to the ceiling which is not the best way to wake up. The bad news is before I checked the time and noticed how lucky I was I felt certain, judging by the dark as night sky, that I still had at least two more hours to go before I had to expose my warm, tired body to the freezing elements hovering beyond my duvet.

It’s here. Autumn has arrived and I’m not feeling too chipper about it. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday who told me that this time of year can often slump her into the blues. I can dig that. I realized last night that I’m feeling blue myself. Generally, in my day to day, I feel all right. But deep in my bones a chill has set it. It feels slightly tinged with dread which I think is connected with the cold weather that’s rolling in. The kind of cold that only gets worse. My shoulders always feel like they’re edging up higher. It seems to take so much longer to get ready to step outside. I never seem to have anything to wear at this transitional time of year. I feel frumpy and out of sorts. I love the spring and summer. I love being warm and walking as much as I can. I swear to you, some days this past season (and there weren’t enough of them) I’d tilt my head up to the sun and moaned a sigh of relief. I’m not complaining, though. What’s the point? The best thing to do is accept the facts. It’s October 1st and for the next several months the weather will be a challenge for those of us who love to avoid a chill.

For those chilly days ahead I suggest compiling a list of things you know can lift your spirits. Make it as long as you can and consult it whenever you’re feeling down with that difficult to shift seasonal regret. When you’re stuck in the middle of it I can be hard to imagine anything to pull you out so making a list when you’re feeling good can work wonders. I suggest trying one, two maybe even three on your list. You might even have to force yourself to do them until you feel the thick coat of armour crack just little to allow some of that warm forced air through to heat your system.

Here are a few that work for me:

  • Visiting an art gallery. Depending on my mood, preferably alone.  Some of my favourites in Toronto include: The Textile Museum, , The Power Plant, the galleries at the Distillery. The AGO, the galleries along Queen Street West (The Stephen Bulger Gallery and MOCCA are a couple of them). Remember, a bit of research can go a long way when it’s cold outside so bundle up and check gallery hours. A lot are closed on Mondays.
  • get dress appropriately for the weather and go for a stroll through the park or along a trail. Especially when the leaves are changing or when the snow starts to fall. This type of beauty can boost a droopy soul in need of a some up lifting.
  • Get out of the house and go to a movie or play. For me (again, mood dependent) a matinée on my own can be blissful.
  • If leaving the house is not an option (too cold outside and too blue inside) brew a pot of some favourite warm beverage and pop in a few dvds in for a theme based film fest. I love heavy hitters, believe me, but I’d recommend keeping it light and cheerful if your feeling down. But to each their own.
  • I love baking. Whipping up something tasty can make me feel very good. But only of I have the time. A hasty baking project can spell disaster. The only whipping I do in a rushed state is maybe a few pans against the wall.
  • Go skating, swimming (indoors), or, if you’re not me, skiing (I’d love to but don’t know how).
  • Take a day off. And, I mean OFF. For one day say to hell with your chores and all the I-should-really-be doings. Take a day “off” from work (or whatever it is that keeps you busy) and use the day, or as much of it as you can spare, to rejuvenate with a good book, a pile of magazines, a stack of movies, surf the internet, have a food network festival, watch back to back episodes of Law and Order or Rescue Me or whatever it is that makes you feel relaxed.
  • Grab a camera, pick a theme and shoot a bunch of photos. OR, take at least one photograph a day for at last a month. I find looking around at what I can photograph can be  a great way to be in the moment.
  • Exercise. Go to a yoga class or a dance class and stick with it until you feel comfortable. If you’re doing something for the first time it can feel awkward and weird. But if you enjoy it and want to get better at it, give yourself some time.

I think when the weather changes I need  to remember I have to change along with it. I sounds obvious but I forget every single year. Despite the fact that, in a few months, the creek not far from my house with start to freeze over, I still have to go with the flow of the every changing seasons.

Make your own list today and get prepared.


One Response to “Work With It”

  1. Dixie said

    another great thing to do is have lunch with one of your bff’s in a warm cozy little hole in the wall or a greasy spoon somewhere (hint hint)

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