Well, it’s that time of year again. The time where you start to wonder why your life, which two months ago seemed awesome, suddenly seems a bit more drab, even though nothing about it has changed or worsened.
You start to question yourself and what’s wrong with you. You wonder why everything just seems a bit harder, why your get-up-and-go seems to be missing in action, and why, no matter how hard you try, you simply cannot seem to find the time to go to your community garden and collect the remaining bean pods on the plants and as the days slip by you start to berate yourself for being inefficient and ineffective (or maybe this one is just me) .
I’lll tell you what it is. It’s called November.
Or more actually, it’s called Seasonal Affective Disorder, and it can strike at any time, once the number of sunlight hours starts to reduce. Here in Ontario, we’ve already turned the clocks back, which means that by 5:30 pm, it’s dark outside.
Now, I happen to love these months. I love the lead-up to Christmas, the bleak November skies, the stark beauty of the leaf-less trees and the grey landscapes, the Christmas lights people are starting to put up. But it isn’t just about external circumstances – biology is to play here: Vitamin D levels go down without exposure to sunlight; the body begins its evolutionary instinct to stock up and hibernate; and energy levels shift (read: shift down). A few pings in the brain and suddenly, even though the world itself hasn’t changed, you feel differently about it.
Take heart, though, friends. There are a few things you can do:
- exercise and walk as much as possible;
- get fresh air and sunlight whenever you can;
- enjoy the delights of the season and embrace winter sports;
- supplement with Vitamin D;
- focus on self-care (including quality foods and sufficient sleep);
- ensure you are remaining connected with family and friends (Kris Carr has an awesome info graphic here on Seasonal Affective Disorder, that I think is super useful).
And what else can you do? Listen to amazing music. I know, I know, this doesn’t appear on many conventional lists for beating SAD – but we all know music affects mood, energy, and state of mind, so I say, let the beat live on! Turn the beat around!
Why these songs?
My qualifications for this track listing were that the songs had to be cathartic, emotive, and inspiring – and after listening to them, you had to feel better than you did before. These are the kinds of songs that make you want to play air piano, wildly conduct an imaginary orchestra, or imagine standing at the top of a mountain sounding your barbaric yawp (if you haven’t read this Whitman poem, go, do it now – celebrate yourself! loafe and invite your soul!).
These songs remind you that the world is indeed a beautiful and hopeful place.
So let’s get to that list, shall we?
- Let It Go – The Piano Guys
- Friday Night Lights Theme Music – W.G. Snuffy Walden
- About Today – The National (from the end of the movie Warrior)
- Hall of Fame – The Script
- When I Look At You – Miley Cyrus
- Ten Feet Tall – AfroJack ft. Wrabel
- Skye Boat Song – Bear McCreary (from Outlander)
- The Parting Glass – Shaun Davey (Waking Ned Devine version)
- Sky Full of Stars – Coldplay
- In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
Do you have any favourite soul-inspiring, mood-boosting songs? Share them below. Also, check out my original post on ten songs to boost your mood.
© Eat Well, Live Vibrantly