Feeling like a bear

Nov 07, 2013 · 3 min read

ice lanterns

The winter is coming. Not the Game of Thrones winter, but the real life winter. Around here it means cold and it means dark. It's not quite like in up North, where it will be pitch black until late spring.

You must have heard by now about the town in Norway called Rjukan, where huge mirrors where installed to bring sunshine to the the main square. It's not quite like that around here, but dark enough in my opinion.

The seasonal affective disorder (SAD) doesn't hit only during the darkest times, though the most "classic" version has to do with winter. It makes sense, many other animals hibernate or at least are less active through winter, in order to save energy and survive. Not even night owls are spared.

Sleeping too much and feeling tired all the time can be a signs of this disorder. If you notice a change every time the seasons change, it's very likely you have it too. Does the upcoming winter make you feel like a bear, ready to have a long winter sleep?

Midwinter celebrations around these parts used to be about luring the light back. That's why we keep lighting the candles and hanging the christmas lights. Bright lights are often used as a "cure" for the SAD that happens due to winter time. Perhaps lights in general make it better.

I hear lots of people complaining about the snow. I think it makes things a bit brighter. Right now it's so dark because the moonlight and street lights don't bounce back from any mirroring surface. The wet streets aren't good enough. Bright white snow comes to rescue, when it does.

Being stressed and working too much makes things worse. Especially when you feel your work doesn't have a real purpose. Lots of people are getting done with their meaningless careers as consultants and such. They start to seek the meaning and passion elsewhere. Many quit their well paid, more or less steady jobs to become something completely else.

Everyone is overwhelmed sometimes, the perkier ones too. Speaking of the perky folks, don't you sometimes feel they suck the last sparks of energy right out of you? I doubt they mean to do it, but the energetic folks have a tendency of making the rest of us feel only bad about ourselves. "Why cannot I have that amount of energy?"

Burning yourself out is useless. It won't make you more successful, it won't make you more happy. What it will make you is incapable of working, thinking, moving, being happy and useful.

Sometimes you need a break. According to business coach Jenny Shih rest is the best thing you can do for yourself and for your business. I agree with her, as would anyone who's been there, done that.

It is true, sometimes your clients or co-workers will not have time and patience for you having a sick day or a break. It's their problem, in the end of the day, not yours. The right people will understand. Besides saying no in time to time can be really freeing.

Reading the post by Jenny, to which I linked above, made me remember I'm not a freak nor I'm the only one who ever feels exhaustion. It helped. I felt better already. It can be difficult when things get overwhelming and when the exhaustion hits. You may feel like you are doing something wrong. I do feel so myself. In reality it's not you and at least you are not alone. Realizing that is important.

Listening to what your body is telling you is important. Being tired and catching all the colds you can is a sign of need for a break before you break. Rest, put nice music on, watch some television, read a book, have a good meal. Say no and don't feel bad about it.

Do you share these feelings? Does it help you to know you aren't alone? Please tell in the comments section.

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