Oh yes, winter is coming!
Sadly, this is not Game of Throne statement. It genuinely implies an explicit meaning. It also doesn’t mean war, it’s just mean winter blues: days full of darkness, sadness, and lack of happiness due to lack of sun.
When I first arrived in Europe, I was warned about winter blues. I clearly remember those time when some trainers explained how to beat winter blues – how serious it was for us, international people who used to live with 12 hours of sun. I also remember how I half-heartedly attended that training. It was September 2013.
Fast forward another few months, I was struggling with mood swing, unreasonable sadness and non-stop crying without any specific reason. I just literally cried when things went well. I just couldn’t find the reason why I cried – yet, I can’t stop crying. I still remember how I forced myself to get up early and attended my study so that I didn’t get more depressed. I called my current husband and just cried all over. I didn’t realize what it was until I contemplated on what was happening to me.
I was lucky that I still have that logical mindset to sit and analyze the reason for all of my sadness. That moment, I acknowledged how gloomy sky in the Netherlands killed me. In addition to that, I also figured out how I dislike yellow light as it made me sad. Funny, eh? Yellow light is always associated with warm feeling and cozy, and it just my biggest enemy. It made me sad to come home, turned out the light, and found that my house was not bright enough. Since then, I changed my housing light from yellow to bright white light. A year after that, my current husband sent me the SAD lamp – seasonal affective disorder lamp. It might be psychological but it helped me through the second winter year.
People don’t understand how scared I am facing wintertime, every single year. Again, I’m not scared of the cold. I’m more worried about the lack of sun. It took me a while to get ready and find a workaround during this horrible time of the year.
There are few things I set carefully that helps me pass through wintertime. First thing is routine. I treat my morning rituals, including working out as mandatory. Rain, snow, cold won’t stop me. Oh well, closure on tube lines will do, tho!
Second is meeting people. I am not an extrovert but having no one at all is not a good feeling, so I force myself to hang out with my friends and meet new people. I even make a schedule on this.
Third, do things I like. I love food, so I will just go out and try new restaurants. I also love working out, so I will just go again in the afternoon whenever I feel sad.
Last but not least, talk to people I love. Cry out loud if necessary. If we can’t help ourselves, hopefully, they know when to search for help for us.
This sounds crazy but I found my temporary ‘happiness’ through the white light. I don’t care if most people in Europe think that I’m insane for using white light in the house. They just don’t know that it’s one of THE thing that helps me survive the winter.