01 Dec Don’t Be SAD
Look. I live in Kentucky. I love Kentucky. I think Kentucky’s beautiful places are as beautiful as any in the world. I’m from Lee County, Kentucky and the countryside there, especially in the fall, is breathtaking. Kentucky is home. Quoting the great American poet, John Mellencamp, Kentucky is “pro’bly where they’ll bury me.”
Having said all that, forgive me for saying this. I’m sitting here, looking out my office window, and thinking about what I want to blog about this month. The sky, the building next door, the grass, and even the restaurant signs I can see from here are all about the same shade of gray. It’s rainy, getting colder, and before I get to go home, it’ll be dark. Welcome to Kentucky in the winter.
I suffer, as do many, from some degree of what we call SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. My case is not debilitating to any degree but I feel it and sometimes deeply when I see only gray skies for days on end. Many of you suffer from SAD and some of you are deeply impaired by it. It ranges from what we might label as just “the blues” to full blown depressive feelings. If your version is closer to the later, let me suggest that a visit to your MD for a little seasonal medical help might not be the worst idea. For the rest of us sufferers, here are some things we might think about and try that will help us get through to that glorious springtime season.
- Beware the urge to overeat and gain weight in the winter. Though we may feel like it, we are not hibernating bears!
- Be careful of alcohol use and stay strictly within your healthy guidelines.
- Bundle up, get out, and walk. Walking is probably the best antidote there is for SAD.
- When the sun makes its rare appearance, get out in it or at least sit in the window where it shines through.
- Don’t spend too much time in isolation. Being in the company of good friends and loved ones is valuable on every level.
- Find a way to look forward to the spring. Maybe plan a weekend get away that you can think about doing in a few months.
- Keep a fairly strict sleep schedule, including going to bed and getting up at about the same times every day. Ever so often, indulge yourself and pull the covers over your head but don’t make that a habit.
- In general, question your instincts right now. The things we feel the greatest urge to do at times like this are often the things which will move us in the wrong direction.
I hope these ideas or any that you come up with help you get through your winter blues. Winter can feel like it lasts forever but I believe with a little intention and effort, most of us can manage to be not quite so SAD.