I live in the far northern reaches of the lower 48, you know the U.S. states that don’t include Hawaii or pertinent to this discussion, Alaska. During the summers in Seattle, we cannot believe our good fortune! The days that seem to last forever! The temperatures that rarely go above comfortably warm. It is true that the area in which I live is virtual Eden of during the months that are burning hot in the rest of the country. And then fall comes, in particular, “Fall back”, the adjustment from Pacific Daylight Time to Pacific Standard Time. Hello, darkness my old friend.

If I am honest with you, there has been a general trend that tells me that my adjustment to the Fall has not been good in recent years. When I was younger, Autumn was my favorite season. Summer, bleh, too hot. However, this was many years before I lived in North Carolina and learned that 75 degrees Fahrenheit is not hot. Also, 80 degrees is not so bad. When hubby and I moved to the South for graduate school, we opened the Pandora’s Box for warm weather acclimation.

For the last three Octobers, I have felt the pull toward low energy. I do not have Seasonal Affective Disorder, the depression caused by the low light conditions of winter. But I do get very tired in low light conditions. I am struggling with this, as we speak. It is ridiculously weather related. I spent last Saturday on my ass with cotton brain. The sun came out instantly and I immediately felt happier and more energetic. How predictable.

Last year, one of my doctors told me that it just might be a good idea for me to schedule fewer patients during the fall and winter, due t the fact that I had low energy during this time. Meanwhile, she gave me acupuncture treatments in hopes of raising my energy level.

I have learned to make some accommodations. I take extra vitamin D during these months. I continue to walk outside. It is particularly important for me to connect with nature and the reduced sunlight. I use light therapy for about 15 minutes in the afternoon. This summer and during the early fall, I changed the lighting in my living room. I added stronger lighting to buffer against the darkness in my beautiful part of the world. This year, I am also trying out a wake up light, an alarm clock that simulates the light of dawn at the time that I appoint rather than that dictated by Mother Nature, who is a little withholding up here during the short day light months. Since cancer treatment, my former status as a morning person has been questionable.

I may just have to accept a “new normal” that these are low energy and low mood months for me. But I enjoy being energetic and happy too much not to try a few things out.

Stay tuned.