Keeping busy is essential, and something we are quickly learning at the Volunteer House.
As the dark dark winter looms before us, we have begun to take precautions against Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that is so prone to this area. In conjunction with a pretty well-balanced diet (lots of fruits and veggies and whole grains, along with whatever “subsistence mooching” we’ve done) we all make an effort to take a multivitamin and vitamin D dosage daily. Our free membership to the Rec Center (gym) through work is a godsend. We all go at various times, attending everything from yoga and Latin dance to Zumba, or for the non-class times, just running on the treadmill or lifting weights. They also have a rock climbing area (which Zach, Emily and I tested out one day) and a bowling alley (we have yet to step foot in). We also make it a point to turn on our Sunbox on days when the sun decides not to shine, or even days that it does and we just need a pick-me-up. It is designed to mimic the bright light of the suns rays, aiding in the combat of SAD.
And we aren’t even in the thick of it yet! Our shortest day isn’t until the end of December, which will be about three or so hours of daylight, so right now we are in a constant downward spiral of watching our daylight hours dwindle. By now I’ve gotten used to the fact that the sun won’t rise until I’ve been awake for at least three hours (approximately 11am), and be set by the time I leave the station. It makes me thankful for having a grandiose window next to my desk, where I can watch the sun the play on the mountains.
On the weekends it’s especially difficult if I can’t find my phone and my clock is not plugged in. (Yawnnnn… stretchhhh) What time is it? Oh, it’s dark o’clock… looks like I’ll just sleep until the sun rises!
It is also easy to forget there is a world outside of our home-to-work, work-to-home routine. The all-of twenty steps commute can be seen as both a blessing and a curse. It is absolutely wonderful in the morning to walk out the door when your shift starts (on Nome time, naturally). However if you skip a day or two or three of other-worldly activity, you start to get a little stir-crazy.
To keep ourselves going, this weekend we decided to make an activities list. It included everything from our gym classes to ice skating, attending a King Island potluck/dance gathering to checking out the grand opening of the Whimsy Shop (a fabrics store under new management). It included a handful of others, and though we didn’t get to everything on our list, we did accomplish those I mentioned along with a few I missed. So many activities!
As Daynee, Emily and I were walking back from Latin dance yesterday, the sun was blasting us right in the face. We walked down to the beach to get a better view and check out the sea as it is starting to freeze over. Rather than shielding my eyes, I looked straight into it. I know, I know… really bad for my eyes probably. But it was so beautiful reflecting off the water! You really have to take advantage of every ray of sunshine possible during this season.
So take that, SAD! We volunteers are ready for you.