It's Getting Dark Out There

There never seems to be enough time these days.  I know you know what I mean. 

Those precious daylight hours are never long enough this time of year.  By the time you get home you might (MIGHT) have daylight left to walk to dog without a flashlight.  Or, the dog might have enough light to take you for a walk.  Depends on how big the dog is.  Chilly walks herself sometimes, when the fields beg for exploring. 

It's the season of annual meetings, holiday shopping, preparation for winter, and eggnog cravings.  Sorry, apologies to the eggnog haters.  I hope we can still be friends.

Now that things are getting sort of brown and grey, it can be tough to keep your spirits up.  I know I do, even while being grateful from a break from the physical aspects of flower farming.  Of course, I'm writing this while studiously not looking at the lawn mower that is supposed to be safely in the garage.  It's not.  I'm a delicate flower, and it's raining out there. I only rescue flowers in the rain, not lawn mowers.

So the real question is, what to do when the darkness is starting to get to you?  I'm going to share a few of the things that work for me!

Chilly, who's shrunk a bit since this photo.  Photo credit: Christine Whelan

Chilly, who's shrunk a bit since this photo.  Photo credit: Christine Whelan

First things First - What do you miss the most?

What do you really miss when we slide towards winter?  Besides traction.  I miss flowers and growing things.  I am sure you never would have guessed.  

My solution is two-fold.  Houseplants and seeds/seed starting.  Get thee a houseplant.  Don't worry about killing it because you can buy, beg, or beg another.  I have discovered I adore ferns in the house, and they don't need a south window.  Air plants are also great options, especially if you have allergies that make having soil in the house problematic.  This is all ideal for pre-February blues, since seed starting is sometimes best for closer to spring.  However, if you want to keep basil, coleus, or other plants inside then have at it!  Sign up for a seed catalog and plan what you'd like to grow next year.

Figure out what you really miss about the season and brainstorm ways to substitute it for a bit.

Other Suggestions:

  • stay moving - go for walks, hit the gym, do yoga in front of the TV, learn to snowshoe, or rearrange the furniture.  Now is a good time to adjust your habits without the pressure of New Year Resolutions.  I hate going to gyms, so I don't, but I can do other things.
  • learn something new - winter is when I try new recipes.  Grab something different from the market and figure out how to cook it.  Make a craft, or take a class.  Last winter I learned about bookkeeping.  Do those things you couldn't do when you were busy with yard work!
  • spend time with a friend - chat on the phone, go for coffee. Text like a crazy person.  As an introvert, I love texting, but face to face interaction is important.

Also, it's ok if you these little things don't do the trick for you!  If you feel like it's more serious than a little case of the blues - then talk to someone about it.  Nova Scotia has a farm family support line, and a foundation dedicated to mental health with a list of resources.  Don't be afraid to reach out.

What are your favourite blues-busting activities? Let me know in the comments!