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I feel a little sad on cloudy days. When the sun goes away, it’s as if I am operating at 80% power. I feel sluggish and more pessimistic, a little morose and more easily discouraged. I prefer to climb in bed rather than climb a mountain.

About 10 to 20% of people have mild seasonal affective disorder (also called SAD) and it’s 4 times as common in women than in men, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. I’m not sure if this is what is going on in me, but I recognize some of the common symptoms:

  • Craving of sweet or starchy foods

  • Lowered energy

  • A tendency to oversleep

  • Avoidance of social situations — not wanting to go out

  • Increased sensitivity to social rejection

Since cloudy days are a part of life, I try to prepare. When the sun is shining, I soak up as much light as I can. I eat my lunch in a sunny spot or take a walk in the middle of the day or lie on the ground and allow the sun to filter through me.

Even if I only have a couple of minutes, it feels good to turn my face to the sky with my eyes closed, thanking the sun and exhilarating in its optimism and warmth.

Sun is like joy. Luxuriating in moments of light builds up my reserves so that when cloudy days come, I am better able to weather them.

Do you feel the blues when the sky isn’t blue? How do you brighten your inner terrain?

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