Christmas is over and the New Year has started so why did I title this blog post - "Tis the Season"?
Well - I live in the Midwest and it is currently 6 degrees outside with a wind chill of -2 (that is NEGATIVE 2)
It gets dark at 4:30pm at which time I want to immediately put on my PJ's and not move from my couch.
Once I get home from work - it is almost impossible to get myself to go back out.
The days are cloudy and dreary and the nights are dark and cold.
The other morning I was sitting on the couch next to the window and when the sun did manage to pop out (for a brief moment) - I felt like a plant growing toward the sun. I almost fell off the couch trying to position myself into the sunlight.
And thus it hit me - 'Tis the Season for Seasonal Depression.
Don't let anyone tell you that Seasonal Depression is not real.
It is very real and it can be debilitating at times.
Our bodies are meant for sunshine.
Our very immune systems depend on Vitamin D to thrive.
Some of the symptoms of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) include:
* Feeling sluggish or agitated (if you aren't sure - ask your spouse)
* Having low energy
* Feeling hopeless or worthless
* Having difficulty concentrating
* Sleeping a lot
* Eating a lot (especially those carbs)
* Gaining weight
* Not wanting to attend social events
Most of these symptoms can also be related to depression but if this is something you don't normally deal with and its new to you - let's talk about some things that work for me.
Exercise - YUCK!! That dreaded word! I know - I know. The LAST thing you want to do when you feel sluggish or tired is get up and exercise! I get it! I LOVE to dance and was a Zumba instructor for a few years. I attend a Shine Dance Fitness now twice a week and let me tell you - last night it was -10 and i did NOT want to leave the comfort of my home but I did! And boy was I happy I did. I felt so much better! But you don't have to attend a class - just walk on a treadmill for 30 minutes a day. Or watch a You Tube video with your favorite exercise routine that you can do in the comfort (and warmth) of your own home. TRUST ME - It will help!
Proper Nutrition - Notice I did NOT use the word "diet" here. It is all about proper nutrition and getting the food that your body needs. When dealing with depression - soda and carbs are NOT your friend. Its a double edged sword because when I get depressed - I CRAVE my comfort foods of Pepsi and cupcakes but those are the foods I need to avoid the most. Now they are good in moderation but I never learned moderation - when I say I can literally eat a 6 pack of cupcakes in one sitting - I am not kidding! So just try to cut out some of the carbs and eat more protein and drink more water.
Get Out of the House - this is a big one!! The LAST thing I want to do when its cold and dreary outside is get out of my nice cozy house. But I have found such joy even in planning a quick lunch with a friend or grabbing a movie with my family. If money is tight (as it is for most of us right now) - just plan a visit at a friends house or go walk the mall for a while. Just get out and do something! Anything!
Try to Get Sunshine - I know this is impossible in some areas but when the sun DOES come out - get outside and soak it up! Talk to your doctor about starting a Vitamin D regimen as well. This can help put that nutrient back into your body during these long winter months.
Pick Up A New Hobby - Take this time spent indoors to discover a new hobby. Maybe finish a book you have been trying to read. Learn to paint. Or crochet. Whatever it is that you love to do - start doing it! Keep your mind busy - even if it is just researching great beach destinations for next winter when it gets cold again!
AND #1 - TALK TO SOMEONE - if you are feeling a little "off" - please don't keep it to yourself.
There are so many people who are dealing with exactly what you are dealing with and they
want to help!
Spring is only 63 days away but who is counting!
Love and light my darlings!