Remember to Pause to See the Beauty in Every Season
Those of us who have never suffered from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) should take a moment right now and express our complete and unrestrained gratitude. From what I’ve seen, heard, and read, it is a miserable and seemingly relentless cloud of misery.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to cope with and even overcome SAD. Will every tip work for you personally? Doubtful… but more likely than not a few will help you tremendously. Being proactive will, all by itself, help to some extent.
It always feels better to know we are taking positive steps to make our lives better – as well as the lives of those who our life touches.
Tips for Coping with SAD:
- Take a multi-vitamin and a Vitamin D Supplement. Vitamin deficiencies have a large number of symptoms and many of those associated with being more emotional than physical. One of my daughters once found herself feeling extremely tired and sluggish. Worse, she’d sometimes cry without having any idea WHY. When she went to the doctor, she had tears in the examining room and told the doctor she had no idea why. Being a sharp doctor, she ordered blood-work – specifically wanting to check her Vitamin D. It wasn’t just low, it was VERY low. She was prescribed a Vitamin D supplement (though they are available over the counter) and her symptoms improved almost immediately.
- Let some sunlight in! Something as simple as opening blinds and curtains during the day may help. When you’re able to look outside at nature (even if it’s just a single tree or the sky and grass), you’re instantly reminded that nature is beautiful year round, not just in the warmer months. The light, itself, can lift your spirits.
- ALWAYS have something to look forward to. I’m convinced that (to a certain extent) SAD can result from a “let down” after a string of exciting, high-charged holidays and events. Think about it – September (back to school), October (Halloween), November (Thanksgiving), December (Christmas), January (New Year’s Day). That leaves the rest of January, February (let’s face it, Valentine’s Day is only so so on the excitement meter), and some of March in many parts of the world. It’s only reasonable that there will be a let down, a feeling of “What do we get ready for or look forward to now???” Why not begin planning for your own party or family get-together?! Plan for a Super Bowl party, a movie-watching party (pick your favorite movie… after all, it’s your party!), or any kind of random party you can think of (masquerade party, game day party, use your imagination and see where it takes you). If you aren’t the party type (aside from family birthdays, I’m not either, actually), start planning Movie Nights with a loved one or all by yourself. Pick a night of the week when you don’t have to cook anything (no cleanup… yay!), order pizza, pop the popcorn, and watch a couple of great movies. You’ll find yourself looking forward to movie night so much I’m sure you’ll keep the tradition rolling all year.
- Move more! I’m not saying you have to hit the gym – trust me, the last gym I was in was in high school (and gym was short for gymnasium)! Simply make yourself become more active. We move a lot more in the warmer months and the sudden dip in activity takes it’s toll on the body and, perhaps, even mind. Bundle up and walk around the yard or block, turn on music and do your chores with more showmanship (my favorite), take up yoga or pilates, learn a new dance… just move it!
- Essential Oils can be effective. The following essential oils can be very helpful in lifting moods (the links go to Amazon, where each can be readily found): Lemon, Jasmine, Lavender, Cinnamon, and Peppermint essential oils are a few people swear by.
I place this final piece of advice separate from the rest because it is both different and vital. So vital, in fact, that I’m not sure any or even all of the tips above will work if it is left undone. When we suffer from things like SAD, we have to stop giving it more power than it already has.
Each time someone says any of the things below, they give Seasonal Affective Disorder more power…
- “I can’t be happy, I have SAD.”
- “I’d like to go out for dinner with you, but I can’t, I always feel depressed this time of year.”
- “I hate winter – it makes me feel so unhappy.”
- “I wish I could be happy… guess I’ll have to wait for summer.”
Any form of these statements give the disorder power and place the individual in the role of victim – and I don’t know about you, but that’s a role I have no interest in playing!
Statements to Give YOU the Power…
- “Less light outside doesn’t have to mean less light inside!”
- “I’m going to make a list of fun things to do this month…”
- “A problem is nothing more than a question that hasn’t found it’s answer yet… this year, I will find that answer!”
I am in NO WAY trying to make light of SAD – it is a very, very real condition. However, you have more power than it does, you’re smarter than it is, you have more resolve, and you’re a heckuva lot better looking.
My money is on you. ~ Joi (“Joy”)