Once There Was the Sun
Do you remember that big yellow thing that once stuck to the sky like a buttery pancake? Right now it feels like we'll never see the sun again because we've all been brought to Arendelle for Elsa's eternal winter. This snow is relentless, and won't give us a break. The winter blues have me feeling a Thumbelina kind of crazy. I'm sure I'm not the only one!
"Seasonal Affective Disorder" is a type of depression that's related to changes in seasons. The symptoms "start in the fall and continue into the winter months, sapping your energy and making you feel moody." There is no doubt that this depression has set deeply in this area of MA, but here are a few tips to combat SAD:
Unless you're up before the sun like me, spend a few minutes outside within two hours of getting up in the morning. If that's not possible, head out during your lunch break at work. Even a little bit of natural light can go a long way!
You might be craving heavy carbs around this time of year, and that's normal if you feel like you're preparing for hibernation. Some believe the reason we want these rich foods is due to decreased levels of serotonin. To increase the neurotransmitter, try eating foods with a higher concentration of tryptophan. "Foods rich in tryptophan include turkey, milk, and egg whites."
I always believed that coffee was the answer for everything. Turns out my pick-me-up could cause more harm than good. It can cause "anxiety, muscle tension and gastrointestinal problems." Try an herbal tea instead, but if you must, stick to one cup of coffee a day.
My D.A.R.E officers will be glad to know that I'm still aware of the dangers alcohol. It's a depressant, so that could bring your winter blues down further. What a buzz kill! Still, moderation is key here. PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY!
"Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don't shoot their husbands, they just don't." - Legally Blonde
If you're feeling stressed and/or depressed, working out to get that blood pumping can decrease anxiety. It doesn't hurt to get fit and feel better about yourself too. Exercise in the sun or near a sunny window to kill two birds with one stone! (Please don't shoot your husbands...)
Waking up at 4:30 for work is the bane of my existence. It's literally the only downside to my job. The worst part is that I can no longer sleep in on weekends either. I am programmed to rise with the dawn without an alarm clock. After researching SAD, I realized it's actually beneficial to my health.
"Keeping your body's clock in sync by rising and retiring at the same time each day, even on weekends or days off from work" can help ward off the winter blues! Regulating your circadian rhythm keeps your mind and body happy!
I thought my mom was crazy when she up and left for Florida last year. She literally woke up and said, "I've had enough of this snow, I need to get outta here!" She packed the kids and left for a wing-it trip to remember. She really had something there.
If moving to Hawaii is not an option, consider a short trip to clear your mind. It's no secret that a few days of warm and sunny climates can reverse symptoms of winter blues.
This is my favorite of all these tips, but sadly, it's not in the cards. GoFundMe, anyone?