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November Blues – Finding the Oasis Within


Summer is over, the vestiges of Indian Summer are disappearing, and Christmas is in the distance.

Do you experience the November Blues? Attitude and behaviours may be the key. It’s difficult to adjust to winter months that bring diminishing sunlight and weather that is less conducive to outdoor activities. Perceptual Control Theory shows that human beings behave to control perception through thoughts or actions. We can’t control the climate. To ease frustrations, focus on what one can control. When we get clear on how we want to perceive ourselves within this frame, we can act toward it.

This is the time to slow down, self evaluate and cherish life: write, reflect, think of all you have to be grateful for, take time to think about the direction your life is headed. I often ask myself, “ If I continue to live my life as I am, 10 years from now, will I be pleased with how I chose to spend this time?” This isolates what’s important, what really matters in the here and now. Be active in creating your life. Learning something new, or approaching the “same old” in a different way, nurtures and energizes us into self evaluation; a process of reinventing ourselves and our reality. Explore a different landscape.

Most of us have long list of “to dos” vying for attention. Do they really matter? Be thoughtful about where to put time, energy and resources. Behavior makes statements about priorities. When was the last time you curled up by yourself, snoozed or read a good book? Shampooed the furniture, or was it the dog? Had a gathering of people in?

When was the last time you made some special memories with friends or family? Doing something unusual can shift the emotional set: skate at the local arena; swim with the kids (or is it hot tubing for the adults); take a trip to Whistler, the other side of the city; visit a museum; take in a play; join a club. Ignore the windy, rainy weather and go walking or roller-blading in Stanley Park, claiming the rawness of the day. You’ll feel alive!

Be good to yourself. Slow down, nest, claiming the tremendous treasure of time now available. Wherever you decide to put time, energy and resources, make it intentional, chosen and active!