Ah, cooler weather and some much-needed rain. It’s starting to feel like fall in the Midwest and with that comes the last pushes by road crews to complete work before the snow falls, shorter daylight hours, and a wind-down of mind and body in preparation for winter.
How does the coming of fall and winter affect NTB drivers? What are some good methods to ease into fall?
Get Ahead of Those Darker Days
For some, the lack of sunlight can leave them feeling in a bit of a funk. If you are one who is prone to a feeling of letdown when the days get shorter and cooler, know that you are not alone. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a commonly known malady suffered by many in northern climes. Since most of NTB’s drivers run their routes through the night and sleep during the day, some suggestions for coping with SAD can be effective all year long.
During non-working, waking hours, use lights that mimic sunlight. This alone can trick the brain into thinking that the sun is shining, and cause a serotonin release which elevates your mood. If you are spending hours in your cab during breaks, there are lights available meant specifically for giving a person the perception of more daylight hours. Even 20 minutes a day spent in front of such a light can make a significant difference for affected people.
Eating a healthy diet, with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables can help keep a person from eating too many “comfort” foods and the sluggish, bloated feeling that often follows. So, keep some cut up in your cab refrigerator to get you from one meal to the next.
Make an effort to move when you can. A quick jaunt around your truck or the parking lot of your drop-off will help relieve stiffness and get the blood flowing to your muscles and brain. Taking some deep breaths will give your body the oxygen you need to wake your mind for the next task ahead.
Easing Into Fall
Cooler air always seems crisp and fresh. While the Midwest saw many beautiful summer days with blue skies and warm temperatures this year, there are things about autumn to look forward to. As you focus on driving those next miles, look up and around you to remind yourself that fall brings a quieter period full of color.
Highways of the Midwest are often surrounded by trees that represent each region’s uniqueness. Take note of the yellows, oranges, and reds that become so vibrant this time of year.
Cookies! What better way to leave you with these warm thoughts than with a wonderful family recipe and a poem to warm heart and soul. So, after you’ve had a good dose of fruits and vegetables, treat yourself to a cookie or two.
Preheat the oven to 350°f. Mix shortening, egg, and sugar in a large bowl. Sift dry flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl, then add to the sugar mixture. Mix in pumpkin. Place tablespoons of batter onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.
Bring to a boil, remove from heat and cool. Add powdered sugar to form consistency for spreading.
Fall, leaves, fall BY EMILY BRONTË
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree. I
shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should
grow; I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.
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