We were created to be creatures of the light. Every year between December and March when the days are so short, I get a case of the doldrums. I need more sleep. I need more energy. I have trouble with foggy thoughts. Having cut back to two small meals a day, I find that I am still gaining weight.
One year a friend sent me a lamp that is supposed to help during winter months. I’ve used it, but I really can’t tell that it makes that much difference. I’ve heard that visiting the tanning bed is helpful, but I haven’t tried it.
I researched Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) on the internet. I don’t have all of the symptoms, but I certainly have some. According to the Mayo Clinic website, these are symptoms to look for. Symptoms specific to winter-onset SAD, sometimes called winter depression, may include:
• Tiredness or low energy;
• Problems getting along with other people;
• Hypersensitivity to rejection;
• Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs;
• Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates; and
• Weight gain.
Do these sound familiar to anyone? If you think you may be experiencing any of these because of shorter days, there are home remedies that might help. Open as many curtains as you can in the house during the daytime to let in the most light. Spend time outside in natural sunlight. Go for a drive on a sunny day. Paint your walls light colors and use light colored upholstery. Stay active and do as many things as possible outside in the sunshine. If you take medication, make sure to take it and stay on schedule with your dosage. Get up with the sunrise.
If these don’t work, you may want to consider adding a light box which is designed to give you more direct light for an hour or so a day.
I can’t seem to help making spiritual connections to everyday situations. This one is such an obvious lesson. Sin sick people spend their lives walking in the dark spiritually. They are often depressed and can’t seem to find their way out of the darkness brought on by sin. Their thoughts are foggy. They get tired of the life they are living, but they don’t know what to do about it. Just as the cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder is spending more time in the light, the solution for spiritual darkness is also spending more time in the light.
Psalm 119:5 says, “Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.”
Matthew 5:14 proclaims that Jesus is the light of the world.
Children often fear the dark. My grandson can’t settle down for the night unless his nightlight is on. When I was little, I slept with a Bible under my pillow or hugged it to my chest as I fell asleep. I was afraid of unseen boogies in the dark. Fear of the unknown seems to respond to darkness.
John 8:12 – “Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
If our faith is in God and our hearts are in His care, we never have to walk in spiritual darkness again. Even when the lights of the world go out, we do not have to fear the darkness.
Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at [email protected] or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.