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Enjoying the summer season as you build an arsenal for the next wave...

Good day to you! It is gorgeous out today! I just have to write that because it feels good to write those words. The lake outside our house this morning is already glistening and the waves are just enough to keep the water moving. It is glorious...simply glorious. The morning sunshine is showing up early at my house right now and I feel refreshed as soon as my brain registers a new day. I've been rising naturally around 6:00 am. My first order of business is to grab my coffee and return to bed to stare out at our lake. If it's cool enough to sit outside on our balcony, I'll take my coffee outside to enjoy the view and the quietness around me. Humidity can be heavy during the summer here and, especially in the morning, before the sun burns it off. So, on those days, I prefer to open up the day inside and take in the views. Today, however, once I finished my coffee, I got up, got dressed, put on my walking shoes and headed out for my morning walk. It was only 7:00 am. It was so perfect out today, I managed to get in 5.17 miles and it was fabulous, every step of the way. I often listen to podcasts, pray or just enjoy what's before me. There are ALOT of trees in my neighborhood as well as the occasional deer, rabbit, squirrel or croaking frog. In fact, I would say that we are about 3 miles from the main expressway. So, I feel like a real "outdoors woman" when I am on my "trail". For two years now, walking for me has provided an opportunity to take care of myself physically as well as mentally. And, unless the weather is severe (snow, rain, fog, heat or cold), I walk everyday for the most part. This time has become very personal and I am extremely jealous over the solitude it gives me. If you haven't tried to add a little walking to your morning routine or anytime during the day, perhaps you would consider it as a way to honor your own well being (physically and mentally). I started with a mile and increased the duration every few months. I look forward to this part of my day and I would miss it terribly if something precluded me from this soulful retreat. Remember that it takes about 28 days for something like this to become a habit, so give it a chance. And, if it looks like rain, take your bumper shoot! Walking in the rain can be so cathartic! (I've done that too!)

So, I have a few other suggestions for you to consider as a means to combat your seasonal depression/blues. You can begin to build your own strategies now, while you feel good and receptive. You will then be prepared and ready for the return of those winter blues symptoms because, as you know, they will return.

  • Talk with anyone in your life that knows you but doesn't know and/or understand your needs during your SAD. When you are feeling good and positive, joyful and uplifted, you are generally more willing to let people in on your feelings. Being vulnerable doesn't feel like a death threat on your emotions!

  • Retreat from toxic people; whether or not you are in your season. But, when you feel good, your ability to filter out negative people is easier/clearer then when you are struggling with your emotions in season. Take a look at those in your circle. Do they understand/support you? Do you need to distance yourself from anyone who doesn't really get it and/or make demands on you that you are unable to meet?

  • How about taking a look at your overall diet! Can you adjust the way and what you eat; invest in your health now since you know from experience what your tendencies are during the months you don't feel good. Get a good dietary habit going, so that in a few months you will be committed to eating right and feeling good.

  • Why not make a vacation plan now for this coming winter? It doesn't have to be the tropics; maybe just a few shorter trips to interesting places you have not been. OR, make a plan to visit someone you have not seen in a while; someone you would just love to see. Let them know what your needs might look like with your seasonal symptoms so that they will be prepared to encourage you and respect the changes you want to make for your "health plan".

  • And how about that Master Bedroom! Is this not a great time to think about making this precious space a real retreat; ready to take you in as the guest of honor! Consider what you might want to update and make a plan. It doesn't have to include moving walls; what about a beautiful new paint color, new bedding and some lamps with the right lighting (so you can tuck in at night with a cup of herbal tea and a good book).

These are just a few thoughts and suggestions as I sit here on a most beautiful day, summer 2022. I will be back next week. Until then...Jeanine

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