Seasonal affective disorder, what is it? It’s a form of depression, also called the “Winter Blues” where people feel sadder the winter time. Does anyone else feel this way? I am definitely happier when the sun is shining, and I can tend to feel out of sorts or jaded when it is cloudy and cold outside. It’s more common than people think, and in some countries, as many as 20-30% of people may be affected. There are special lights that people install in their houses and they will sit under them for a few minutes to hours every day to help with the condition, but I’ve never done this. The older I get, the more I am cognizant of my feelings, and can try to work through them. Over time, I have tried to learn to embrace the dreary cold days, finding ways to appreciate them. One of the things that definitely makes me happy is good food, so I try to find “depressing day” foods such as hot chocolate… grilled cheese with tomato soup… chili! (I mean, who doesn’t love chili?) It’s definitely not a perfect solution, but I think that taking time every day to appreciate the good things in my life and be grateful for what I have makes me a happier person in general. So here I am, dreary weather outside, fireplace on, snuggled up under a soft blanket with the hubster on the couch, and a fall spiced hot chocolate in my hand – life doesn’t get better.
Fall Pumpkin Spiced Hot Chocolate
Servings: 1 (can double for two servings)
- 8 ounces of milk of choice
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar of choice
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin spice
- 1-2 drops of vanilla extract
- dash of salt
- cinnamon sticks, star anise, etc. for serving
- Heat milk in a microwave-safe container until hot, around 2-3 minutes depending on your microwave. Add the cocoa powder, sugar, pumpkin spice, vanilla, and salt and combine. I used a milk frother to combine the ingredients together.