You Are My Sunshine

by

During the winter months in Michigan, we get very little sun. I just heard a report the other day that said for the month of December we had like 55 minutes of the sun! In other states, where the sun shines more often, they may have to deal with torrential hurricanes or tornados or in some regions, mudslides or Tsunamis. Nobody has any control over the weather. Not even the meteorologists apparently. Even with all of the fancy computer models, it’s difficult for them to predict the weather. 

Sometimes, these kinds of weather patterns affect our mood. Not seeing sunlight for a long time tends to bring people down. Some people actually suffer from a very real condition known as Sun Affect Disorder or SAD, which is what it makes them. I’m sure people have suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder because of hurricanes or other devastating weather. That’s why it’s so important that we find our joy from the inside not from the outside conditions. If you plan a vacation that is weather dependent, you should have alternate plans if it rains. Do you let the weather ruin your vacation or do you find ways to make the best of it?

I’m not saying that the weather will never affect you, but if you consistently let it dictate your attitude, you could be a very unhappy person, especially if you live in Michigan. During the winter months in Alaska, some regions only get three hours of daylight while one area, Barrow, Alaska has 67 days of darkness. It is 330 miles north of the Arctic Circle. If you’ve ever had blood drawn for a physical, you may have received results that you were low on Vitamin D. People associate Vitamin D as the sunshine vitamin because exposure to the sun produces Vitamin D in the body. This vitamin helps fortify strong bones. Therefore, if someone is lacking in it, they could be experiencing chronic pain or fatigue or symptoms of depression. 

So while it would be great if we just woke up each day with a smile on our face and the conditions were always right for us to maintain that smile, the truth is, we have to work at it. We need to find ways to feel joyful, especially in this season of little sunlight and less daylight. 

Perhaps engage in a hobby that makes you smile and that you can do year round. Maybe find an activity that helps others and makes it worthwhile for you to get out of bed in the morning. It might be helpful to just acknowledge every morning that you are grateful you woke up. Maybe it’s as simple as smiling more. It’s amazing how much you can improve your attitude by rearranging the muscles in your mouth.

When we get into a funk of some kind, we have a tendency to start looking at the people we are with most often, like our spouse or family members, and blame them. We begin to wonder whether we are happy in those relationships anymore because we can’t explain our sadness or unhappy disposition. And yet it could be as simple as not having sunlight or not getting outside as much because of the cooler temperatures. Those are viable possibilities.

When you learn to develop a sunny disposition from within, you won’t have to worry what’s happening outside, and therefore you can increase your opportunities to win at home.