Want to avoid the November blues?

By Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more www.albertevilleneuve.ca.

Dear friends, I turned 60 last Tuesday, October 27th. I was spoiled and feted for three days, first by friends and family, then by my writer friends and finally, a more intimate dinner with the grandkids and immediate family. It felt really good!

Wednesday, I attended "le Salon jeunesse" in Orléans... the last of many writers' functions in October. Again, I met wonderful people and beautiful children.

At the Mongolian Village with (far left) Pandora, Bobbi, Theresa, Roberta and me
At the Mongolian Village with (far left) Pandora, Bobbi, Theresa, Roberta and me.

Halloween will be the last fun event of October. Then, gloomy November will be here... Already some people are feeling lethargic, blue or even, depressed.

During the summer, we spend more time outdoors. We go to the beach, garden, entertain on the porch or patio, splash in the pool... but, once the patio set and the BBQ have been stored, the lawn mower has been retired, we tend to settle into a more sedentary lifestyle and we shouldn't. We still need the benefits of the sun's rays. This is how we get most of our vitamin D3. So we need to bundle up and go for a walk, rake the remaining leaves, feed the birds... Any excuse is good!

November is also a time to be more attentive to nutrition. Cravings may develop and we may end up eating heavier foods or more junk food. I will occasionally crave chocolate at this time of the year. Making sure I still eat plenty of fruit and vegetables and add some "good" complex carbs helps prevent the "sweet tooth syndrome" or the late-night cravings. I enjoy making homemade soup at this time of the year. In fact, I will be making my daughter's favorite pumpkin soup this week.

When the hibernation starts, we may feel more lonely or isolated. Then, it's time to join a group.

Alberte and Spencer share a wish

At my birthday party at "La Ferme Rouge" I danced with my sweetheart. It sure felt good! And I've taken up yoga again. It not only provides wonderful exercise, it's a social gathering. At the end of the session, Esther (my instructor) serves up herbal tea and healthy muffins. We sit in a circle and have a lively chat. We often exchange valuable information, encourage one another, plan an outing... It's a feel-good activity!

Now is also the time to enjoy your home and make it cozy. Open the blinds when it's sunny. Sit in a sunny spot to read, knit or simply sip your favorite hot beverage. Listen to your favorite music, get up and dance or sing.

Make your meals special. Enjoy a healthy breakfast, making sure you stay hydrated during the day. Cook your favorite meal for dinner.

Cuddle up with your sweetie, your cat, your dog or your little ones in the evening. Share a favorite TV show. Use an afghan to keep warm.

And make sure you get enough sleep. Your bedroom should be a comfy place to retire at night. I love comfort sheets at this time of the year and listen to soothing music which helps my mind disconnect from a busy day.

And don't forget: SMILE and LAUGH every day!

30 October 2009 — Return to cover.