By Amy Kathleen Miller
It was snowing outside this morning, and I am not happy to see winter yet. I love the outdoors, but on the backs of horses more than in the snow. Another thing that is hard in the winter for me is the “winter blues.” It is more of a seasonal depression caused by lack of sunlight either from not going outside as much or the sun being covered by clouds or smog, and/or lack of D vitamins that we need more of.
Let me be honest: since John lost his job nearly a year ago, I did get very depressed about it. It is not a fun thing to go through and still be trying to dig out of a year later. But it has been hard to fight depression, and now the weather’s getting colder and the days are darker and it might hit harder through this season.
So I am trying to be proactive about staying healthy physically and mentally during the winter. When I don’t have much money, buying a special light to fight off depression is probably not going to fit in my budget, unfortunately. They are expensive. So I have to find other ways to stay positive.
I have been trying to do “challenges” with 28 days of positive thinking or 28 days of trying to get on top of healthy living. I think this is a good thing to try to do. At the end of the 28 days, I get to sit down with a friend and we figure out what we want to strive for next. Maybe 28 days of spiritual living with more communicating with God on a daily basis will be next, reading more in His word on a daily basis. Maybe we could write down His promises on an index card and read it more on a daily basis to remind us that there is a creator in our lives.
What kinds of foods we eat does affect our moods. I can have more negative mood swings if I eat more junk foods. Lots of fat, greasy foods, found more from animal products, are more unhealthy for us. The more dark green leafy vegetables we eat, nuts, seeds, legumes, and natural oils are better for us. There are many different kinds of grains that we can eat besides the old standby of wheat or white flour.
To be honest, I hardly eat wheat anymore. There is so much food that hardly gets explored. How many of you know what a leek is? It has more of an onion taste, but it’s a little different kind of taste. I am trying to explore green smoothies more and see what they are like. I eat more beans. There are many different kinds of beans and they are really good for you — black beans, lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, etc. We can look up many recipes with different kinds of beans. I get Vegetarian Times magazine and they have many delicious recipes to choose from. There was one winning recipe for a pizza where butternut squash was spread to be the sauce, and there was spinach, different spices and ingredients on it and it was delicious. John and Alicia loved it. You don’t need the regular tomato sauce to make a great pizza. Get creative with natural ingredients.
I consider myself to be athletic, I love to run or sprint walk. I love to hike in the mountains, but I don’t get to do that very often. I love to ride the horses on a regular basis, more bareback. Cantering and bareback riding is a leg killer, let me tell you. My legs burn after that kind of exercise or posting at the trot bareback is another leg strengthening exercise. I love to ride bikes, they are a thrill when going down a hill. Maybe someday when John gets a better job we could learn to ski so I could enjoy winter too. I would love to learn to ski downhill as well as cross-country skiing. My children don’t seem to enjoy the idea of cross-country skiing, though, I might have to do it with other people.
Journaling is also a fun way to see where you are going with life. I like to do prayer journals, where I can see how my prayers are answered. Sometimes I get away from that because I just get too busy in day-to-day life.
I do have my music students to keep me busy and I need to stay on top of my instruments to continue to give my students the latest techniques possible for that instrument and the best, more efficient way to practice that instrument to become successful at it.
I think that is enough rambling on about how I want to tackle things to beat back those winter blues in the cold months ahead.
Editor’s Note: “Amy’s Angle” is a weekly Wednesday feature in this blog.
Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media