As we go into the winter holiday season we enter a time that many find to be full of stress and sadness. Studies have shown that weather related depression is a real and pervasive problem in many of our colder states.
The holidays themselves, a time of joy and family to many, can be depressing and dangerous to those struggling with relationship problems or with the loss of someone close.
The lack of sunshine can force the need for extra sources of vitamin D. The weather discourages activity and exercise and the shortened days restrict our ability to accomplish our constantly increasing to-do lists.
Without some kind of outlet for all the pent-up energy and frustration of the season, you can sometimes feel overwhelmed and underappreciated.
An excellent way to overcome the wintertime blues is to take regular walks.
It’s cold out there, but if you dress appropriately there is still a world of wonders at your disposal.
Walk after a rainstorm and revel in the cleanly washed and stark outline of the city, or the pristine and somber trees in the forest as they shed the dust and grit of the summer.
Walk on a clear December day and breathe in the pure air, free of the pollen and dust of the summer. Watch the undulating masses of birds as they navigate the stiff breezes and tricky currents overhead or the massive aerodynamic formations of geese as they flee the snows of Canada to rest and nest in warmer climes.
If you are a dog person, take in the furry confusion of wagging tails and excited barks at a dog park. Exercise and a show.
There is so much to see this time of year, and a desperate need to appreciate it. Get out and take it all in. Your mood will be the better for it, and your health will follow suit.
Do something for yourself this holiday season.
Take a hike.