In 2010, my husband and I moved to Alaska. It’s wonderful, amazing, breath-taking. It is also very dark and gloomy during the months of December and January. Being from the south, I had no idea what a positive influence sunshine has on one’s mind, body, and soul. This winter, though, the full impact of a lack of bright colors hit me like a ton of bricks. I suffered from…gasp… seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. I tried exercise, eating healthy, taking midday walks and skis, and focusing on new year’s resolutions — all good things to do anyway, right!? None of it worked to get me all the way out of my SAD little slump, though.
On a Thursday morning two weeks ago, I sat straight up in bed and said, “I have to go to Hawaii — for my health.” Never mind that I can’t really afford the time off work or the extra spending. This vacation was a necessity–the first one I’ve ever truly needed for my well-being. Thankfully, I have a dear friend who lives on Maui. Seven days and a five-hour direct flight later, I found my remedy.
I made no plans and no expectations for the trip. I simply wanted to be in the sun, warmth, and salt water. Jogs in the morning, coffee and wine (depending on the time of day) on Kelley’s front porch, cocktails at restaurants with incredible views, beach bumming with some wonderful new friends, beach cruising through Lahaina, and many hours of laughter with a wonderful old friend pretty much sums up the trip.
As a result of my quick five day trip to the islands, I am my happy, energetic self again. (And I think my husband is just as glad I went to Hawaii as I am.)
We’re constantly being scolded and warned about exposure to sun. I’m here to tell you, though, the positive benefits of sunlight are not to be taken for granted. I will not go another winter without making plans to go to a sunny place in January. I encourage everyone to step out into the morning sun, let it warm your body and fill you with energy, and use that positive energy to carry you lightly through the day.
“At the beach, life is different. Time doesn’t move hour to hour but mood to moment. We live by the currents, plan by the tides, and follow the sun.”