Weather seems to play a huge role in my mood. That’s not a startling pronouncement. After all, I have lived in northern climes for nearly 30 years and long, cold winters have always impacted my mood in a negative way. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. The recent winter, however, was unusually mild with very little snow and few cold days.
Now it is spring.
Spring officially began during the second week of this current isolation, but nature doesn’t really care a bit about our artificial calendar. Those of us who live in more northerly areas are used to idea that April can often surprise us with cold snaps and even the occasional snowstorm.
This is a long preamble to talk about just how sensitive I have become to weather during this enforced quarantine. Normally, I would not really care if there were a few cold, wet days. Historically, I could go out to my favorite bar or restaurant, or head to the hot tub and sauna at my gym. Now, with only myself in my apartment and no other options, the need to get outside has been greatly increased.
Yesterday was gorgeous, and today is equally fantastic. The sun is out, temperatures are hovering in the high 60s and low 70s, there is a light breeze, and I am sitting in the sun as I write this post – enjoying the fantastic weather.
Sadly, the rain predicted for tonight is the leading edge of a cold front. The forecast is cold and wet for the next ten days at least – with some possibility of freezing rain and even snow later in the week. These two spectacular days of sunshine have been a colossal tease by Mother Nature.
I said to someone recently that, as an introvert – yes, I really am an introvert – I love solitude. But – only when it’s my choice. It’s not my choice right now and since I cannot have face-to-face human interaction my only hope of feeling more liberated has been the times I could get outside for a walk or, like today, just sit in the sun and enjoy the relaxation that brings.
With bad weather again on the horizon, I have some anxiety building again. It’s a sense of being in solitary isolation, being trapped, feeling like my choices have been removed. Oh, I realize this is a ridiculous complaint in the face of all the awful things happening to others around the world, but I have made a pact with myself to be open and honest about how I feel and for me, this feels fairly rotten.
As I move back indoors for a more protracted time of confinement, I will have to come up with new coping mechanisms. I cannot and will not allow myself to spiral into depression. After all, I am hugely blessed right now – good job, steady paycheck, health, safe and comfortable place to live, plenty of food, and access to technology that keeps me in touch with nearly anyone I want to contact.
So despite my anxiety about the return of my Seasonal Affective Disorder this week, I will just have to take a deep breath (or several) and just allow myself to be more ‘in the moment’ instead of worrying about ‘what might be.’
I suppose that the point of my ramblings today. Mindfulness. I only have the moment I am in – nothing more and nothing less. Any moment that I waste in complaint or worry or anxiety is a moment I can never reclaim. Of course, I cannot live in blissful joy every moment of the day. I am human and pain is part of the human equation. What I can do, however, is recognize when I’m wasting a precious moment of my life and then figure out how to live the next moment in a better, more positive way.
Onward and upward!
It’s only Quarantine if it comes from the Quarante province of France. Otherwise, it’s just Sparkling Isolation.