I Emerge from Hibernation as Solar Panels Finally Decide to Do Some Work

I am one of those people who react to sunlight and lack of it.

When November starts, my typical four-times-a-week gym program will transfer to three times, and I acknowledge that keeping up even the excellent and well-learned habits is harder. Productivity starts to go down, and the amount of sleep goes up. Around three months, both physical and mental hibernation periods are about to begin. 

The Thrilling Biological Impact of Reduced Sunlight

So, for me, the lack of sunlight is not just a mood dampener; it’s a full-blown conspiracy against our circadian rhythm and the production of serotonin, the “feel-good” hormone. But hey, you don’t need it if you’re hibernating! And believe me, you must work extra to feel good if you’re trying to connect that to your routines. How on earth am I supposed to have the energy to do that?

How about entering the world of light therapy lamps – the artificial sunshine we never knew we needed? As I contemplate this alternative, the thought of basking in the genuine glow of an Equatorial sun beckons enticingly. A week in a sun-soaked paradise seems like the ultimate remedy, a tempting escape from the dimness that pervades my daily landscape. Perhaps the elusive motivation for new beginnings might find its way back to me in the warmth of natural sunlight. Maybe, huge, maybe.

Welcome, Mr Sandman!

I’ve noticed a delightful shift in my nightly routine, where the sandman seems to work overtime, lulling me into a peaceful sleep that graciously extends for a comforting 9-10 hours. It’s as if my body has decided to embrace a luxurious journey into dreamland, allowing me to wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day with newfound energy. You would think, but no! I will wake up only to discover that maybe that wasn’t enough after all, as the demands of life often feel like you need a superhero-level resilience that even a good night’s sleep can’t entirely satisfy.

Mood, Motivation, and the Thrill of Starting New Tasks

Winter blues, or as I like to call it, “Seasonal Affective Disorder,” takes its toll on motivation. Initiating anything new becomes a heroic effort, with productivity levels comparable to a snail’s pace. Feeling bad about the decreased productivity, I must admit that the snail still might be winning.

How about some surprise inspiration?

Last November I met a good friend for a long time. She looked amazing and was filled with energy. I guess she is not the hibernating type. We talked, and at some point, I asked about her career goals and the goal of her passion, running. In a very non-Finnish way, she had both of the answers ready and without hesitation, she stated those as they were the most obvious things in the world. What a woman and what an inspiration! 

Run Forest, Run!

Looking at myself, I don’t see a passionate runner, but I have been running that much that I have had runners high and the endorphin rush that you get after a good run. It’s so different from going to the gym, so I thought, let’s try it. I uploaded my Garmin running program, and where I might have skipped a gym session or two, I have not skipped a single running exercise in 13 weeks.

Was it easy? No way! Would I try this approach again? Thinking about it seriously. Anything that could help deal with my Seasonal Affective Disorder is welcomed.

Snap out of it or move closer to the equator.

So, here I am, reluctantly emerging from my winter cave as the solar panels on our roofs decide it’s time to pull their weight. Dark winter time might be the arch-nemesis of productivity, but once more, I somehow survived. After all, just as the sun reluctantly peeks out from its winter hideout, I’m emerging while singing with Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing,” and ready to tackle my winter productivity levels and motivational lows with my dark and oh-so-sarcastic charm… and maybe this time with some running.