Hello, Thursday Morning friends!
I heard lots of complaining this year when the clocks rolled back an hour. Most complaints came from those who work forty hours a week (or more). They go to work in the dark and return home in the dark. The few precious hours of sunlight we get is lost to their internment in offices and cubicles.
My mother-in-law has feared the sun for years. When she goes outside, she’s completely covered up. What she actually fears is the silent killer–melanoma. Not that she’s ever had it, but she did have breast cancer at one time. After that, she became very fearful.
These days, she spends most of her time indoors. So, in the winter, she often suffers from depression. I’ve tried to urge her to get out in the sunshine, for just fifteen minutes a day. Soak it up. Leave your hat indoors. She can’t. The fear is too strong. So she suffers depression on her own.
Apparently, we have no say in the time-change debacle. It springs forward in the spring, and falls back in the fall. We murmur and complain. But what can you do about SAD? Here are a few good steps to take.
- Sunshine–even when it’s overcast outside, you can still soak up rays, but if the cold keeps you inside, find a sunny spot. Sit or stand near a sunny window.
- Exercise–nothing beats a little sweat to get your heart pumping, which also releases serotonin in the brain. You feel better, that is if you don’t overdo. Two birds with one stone: take a walk in the daylight hours.
- Spend time with others–friends, family, grocery store, coffee shop, church. Get out of the house. Go for that walk, smile and greet the neighbors. Important note: Social media is a poor substitute for actual human interaction, but as a last resort, you can use it. If you’re bedridden, or have to stay off your feet for a while, it’s a decent solution. Just be careful who you talk to!
- Music–obvious, but it works. I love to listen to praise and worship music–it lifts me up every time. But you can listen to your personal favorite, whether it’s R&B, country, or classical–even opera! Hey, whatever warms your heart and puts a smile on your face.
- Prayer and/or meditation–scientifically proven to bring peace to a troubled heart.
- Pet a pet–yes, this a great way to warm up a cold, anxious moment. A cat or dog curled up next to you, or on your lap is really good medicine.
- Watch a favorite show or movie. Ah, the cliche movie and pint of rocky road ice cream. But don’t knock it. Sometimes, it’s just the ticket to get you over the blues.
- Read a good book–yes, I went there. There are so many good books these days. Visit a bookstore or library. Download new books online. Check with your social media friends for recommendations.
Important Disclaimer: these are my suggestions only, based on reading and research. If you are suffering from depression, please see your doctor to rule out any physical ailments, which can also cause depression and anxiety. And if you are clinically depressed, I realize the above steps may do little to alleviate your pain and anxiety.
But for those who suffer from seasonal discomfort due to a lack of activity and/or sunshine and light, these suggestions really do help.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go clean my house. That’s another thing that really helps me feel better. I guess you could put it under point #2, Exercise. I put on some praise and worship music, turn it up loud, and go to work. It gets my happy going.