Too Much Dark

As fall gives way to winter, the amount of daylight in any given day decreases. For some people, it’s just the way things are. It isn’t pleasant having far more hours of darkness than light, but eventually the solstice passes and the daylight hours start to take over again.

But daylight is important, and for some of us, not having enough of it leads to depression and other issues. Personally, even though I have depression year-round, I find it worsens at this time of year. Even cloudy days during the longer-daylight seasons can impact me negatively, and the days when daylight is short aren’t always easy. In the northern hemisphere, the shorter daylight hours coincide with the holiday season, and I suspect that can make the situation even more difficult to deal with since for some people, the holidays are also a stressful time. I know that’s the case for me.

And, since the shortened daylight periods also coincide with colder weather in some parts of the world, being stuck inside can add to the depression and stress as well.

At any time of year, taking care of yourself is important. At times when depression becomes more prevalent, it’s even more important. For those who struggle with the lack of daylight, certain types of lamps or lights can make the situation better. (I apologize for not doing the research to find more information for those who are reading this.) If holidays are difficult for you, try to lessen the load if you’re someone who hosts get-togethers. If going to family members’ homes is stressful, it’s okay to skip the gathering.

Above all, be kind to yourself, and remember that this time of year ends, and things get better again.