The year is rapidly winding down as we slip into December, and yet one more week has nearly sneaked its wormy self past without another post. Forgive me, as life has indeed gotten in the way.
I won’t make excuses, as excuses are exactly just that: reasons we pull out of nowhere to justify our wrongdoings. “Excuse me,” we say, and explain away, truly believing that our excuses make up for whatever we did or didn’t do. But in the end, does it really matter? The fact still remains the same. You were late, or forgot the pie, and I didn’t post anything for the last ten days (or whatever it was).
Anyway, so, for those of us in the northern hemisphere, holiday season — and hence, bitingly uncomfortable and nippy weather — is upon us. We all know what this means.
. . . the doldrums!
And I’d say this stagnant, inactive behavior has less to do with the cold temperatures out there than the effect the environment has on our psyches. With the darker nights (early sunsets! Night skies at what, four thirty in the afternoon??!) and the barren tree branches, I’d liken it to something like the atmosphere when it’s about to rain. It aches their bones and foretells the rainy skies the way humidity in the summertime grabs sticky hold of our skin and seeps into our bodies, making everything sticky-sticky-sticky.
Well, it turns out “rainy day” syndrome is thanks to the negative ions in the air, and I wouldn’t be surprised if “winter doldrums” syndrome occurs either. Whatever causes it, it’s very real and exactly why our society embraces the gluttony and “lazitude” that the holidays promote. We want to fatten up and keep warm in the winter, so it’s no wonder why we feel light and active in the summertime.
So how do you battle the winter doldrums? You work with it rather than against it. (And this kind of applies to anything you’d like to conquer; as long as you accept things for how they are and approach them with love and encouragement in the right direction, you’re working with them rather than fighting them.)
I was listening to Ben Greenfield’s (Get-Fit Guy) Quick-and-Dirty Tips to Slim Down and Shape Up, and in his podcast on staying fit during the holidays, he suggests keeping fit on big dining holidays (read: Thanksgiving and Christmas) by activating your metabolism with constant physical activity throughout the day until you have to sit down at the table.
When it comes to therapy for neurological conditions like stroke or spinal cord injury, any activity you’re burning through with your affected limbs is going to get written in that nervous system of yours. So if you’re not feeling the gym today (and we’ve all been there), pop in an exercise DVD or have an afternoon in with a board game. Play the game with your affected hand. Lower-energy activity still counts, you know.
I’ve always found that fine motor training on my left hand has, despite how much “easier” it seems and how un-sweaty it makes you, always been tougher to get a move-on with than getting my bum out to the gym and spinning on an elliptical for an hour. It’s because fine motor programming is far more brain-intensive and makes your mind “sweat.”
But it needs to be done, so as long as you’re sitting around not feeling like going to the gym, do something — it’s always better than nothing. And as always, be gentle and patient with yourself.
To our healing,