It was early February when I noticed the symptoms…
lack of motivation
Something felt familiar…my annual nemesis Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD was back, catching me off guard once again. My pet name for this is Seasonal Defective Disorder. I first came face to face with SAD during my first year of teaching- along with my first migraine headache (not a good omen). My classroom was in the basement of the school with only a small rectangular grated window up on ground level. I had virtually no natural light all-day.
I discovered that even on anti-depressants one can fall victim to this syndrome. It’s thought to come about by biochemical changes in the brain brought on by lack of sunlight. For those of us in northern climates with dark winters and inclement weather SAD can be quite common. It can also happen any season if you are constantly indoors and deprived of natural light. In this conditions it’s hard to spark joy or feel creative. The good news is there are easy and affordable ways to deal with SAD. Here are my four go-tos to get back on track within a week or so.
Sit in front of a SAD light every morning for about 15-20 minutes daily. These lights emit full spectrum light like sunlight. Years ago these were big cumbersome boxes that cost several hundred dollars. Now you can get a little portable unit you can place on a desk at your workplace for about $25. Here is a link to the one I purchased on Amazon which I like a lot (I get no kickbacks for this recommendation).
Take a lot of vitamin D3. I recently upped my dose to 15,000 units to get through the rest of the winter.
I take several dandelion capsules a day. These supply an amazing amount of micronutrients and antioxidants. Of course, you may eat fresh young dandelion leaves usually in abundant supply in your lawn- at least in mine.
Get outside as much as possible. There is nothing like fresh air and natural sunlight. I say that as the rain continues to fall here in Oregon.
If you have found yourself down in the dumps lately for no tangible reason, consider the possibility you might have SAD. You can try my recipe which is quite noninvasive or see a medical professional. Whatever path you choose- remember that life is too short to be depressed! Get the help you need.
PS- My muse has returned. YES!
Sketches by the author
Checkout my other blog about sustainable living at onesweetearth.blog
2 thoughts on “A Recipe to Cure the Late Winter Blahs”
I am so with you on this one, Alanna. I live in MI and this year has been exceptionally grey. I don’t know what I would have done without my sunlamp. I journal by the lamp, meditate by the lamp, do poetry by the lamp. It’s my life saver.
I have taken a challenge also this year to be outside for 23 minutes during “23. I now start my day, snow or shine, on the front porch with my cat and a cup of coffee watching the sunrise. It gets me acclimated to the weather and I have come to love the birdsongs, quacks, and goose honks. I think I will continue this challenge beyond ’23.
Enjoyed your post and suggestions.
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I love that porch challenge, LuAnne. That will encourage me to get outside this cocoon of a house! Here is to the coming of spring!