Winter is Here – Are you SAD?

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Winter is here!

Yeah!  The ice skating, the hot cocoa, the cozy sweaters and fuzzy socks, sitting by the fire with a book, finally getting to your indoor projects, all the yummy comfort food simmering on the stove, the forgiving blanket of snow that covers all the imperfections of your back lawn, the breathtaking red flashes of the cardinals against the snowy white backdrop of our yard, my husband’s giant beard, my Beach Rose’s rosy cheeks and infectious excitement about building a snowman or sledding, slippers, Downton Abbey, Game of Thrones…

There are those of us who view winter as all of the above and as a reprieve from the packed schedules of spring summer and fall, and those for whom the snow and ice and cold are a playground:  for the children, the outdoorsman, the avid skier, the snowmobilers, etc.

Yet, for some it brings about the doldrums.

The winter doldrums are the depression, melancholy and gloom that you may feel when you find yourself in the heart of winter, when the holidays are over, but the quantity of holiday eating remains (and the poundage increases), the days are short and dark and cold and you find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

A more severe form of this melancholy is called SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Although there are many effective ways to combat SAD, for some it is best to seek out the professional advice of your doctor and/or a therapist, who may recommend pharmaceutical assistance.

However, if you’ve noticed that you may find yourself down in the dumps once in a while during the winter months or nearing the end of the long winter, hang in there and try some of these organic methods of picking yourself up by the bootstraps!

  1. Eat a ton of seafood and grass-finished beef.  A ton!  Both of these proteins fight off depression because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  In some studies they’ve shown that omega-3s can actually be more effective than antidepressant medications.
  2. Get outside.  2 reasons for this:  you’re getting fresh air and you’ll be getting some natural sunlight.  Especially in morning.  Doing this will trick your body clock to stay on its springtime schedule and will help elevate your mood.
  3. Start sniffing citrus!  Sniff that fresh squeezed orange juice.  Stick your nose in your child’s grapefruit.  Grow a lemon tree in your kitchen.  Don’t ignore the lime in your gin and tonic…be the odd duck that takes it out of their glass and inhales it!  Citrus has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety.  Soooooo… stock up on the citrus-scented candles in the fall and fight off the winter blues by setting up an orange grove in your home!
  4. Go away!  I’m not telling you to scram, I promise.  I mean, get out of town, literally.  Doesn’t have to be a tropical island, though this of course, cures everything. Even if you plan a day trip to a museum, a town you’ve been meaning to visit, an overnight trip with your loved one(s), any of these outings will give you something to look forward to and lift your spirits!

Combat those winter blues and blahs with a few of these pick-me-ups and before you know it you’ll see that first beautiful robin, hop-hopping on the ground, and you will be too!

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