While some people might be ticking off the days until Christmas, my eye is already on spring (although I’ve so far resisted the urge to download the spring countdown widget). If you live in Australia or Arizona, the onset of the northern hemisphere’s fall and winter may not be such a big deal to you. I’ve spent most of my life in the Pacific Northwest, however, where approximately 105 percent of the population is Vitamin D deficient and hydroplaning is just a regular part of driving.
If you’re in the same boat floating car as me, there are some simple things you can do that are really effective at combating what might be seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or just the winter doldrums.
This time last year, I wrote about using music as a mood booster. I’m still building up my ‘Anthems’ playlist of upbeat songs (and suggestions are always welcome) as I’ve realized that I need to make an intentional shift in the kind of music I listen to at this time of the year. Do you try to do the same?
The same happy-music logic can also be applied to movies; comedies are mood boosters. Since I tend to load my Netflix queue with morose foreign films, I recently went in there and did some reordering. Flicks like “The Secret in Their Eyes” got pushed down the list in favor of “Kinky Boots,” “Mamma Mia!” and some others suggested by friends.
Have you heard the tip, “always shop the perimeter of the grocery store?” The fresh, raw, unprocessed food is almost always on the outer edges of the floor plan, while the center aisles are filled with, er, less desirable items. Take this recent Safeway ad, for example, which tries to draw you in with the temptation of “the wonder of pancakes in a pouch,” “feast upon the liquid gold,” (uh, that’s mac and cheese, and if anyone considers that feast-worthy, please seek guidance), Pop Tarts, and “Girl Scouts Creamer” (shouldn’t that be “Girl Scouts Cookie-Flavored Creamer? Just sayin’…).
No, you must revolt against the revolting and go straight for the things that were either once alive or came from something that was once alive. The link between depression and food has been proven, so we’re not joking around here. Seriously.
I like to pretend that aliens are accessing my thoughts when I turn on my goLITE P2 light box and let the blue waves penetrate my retinas, but that’s just me. You might make up some other far-fetched fantasy for your light box, like you’re a rock star, on stage, bathed in the spotlight of fame (okay, I do that one, too). Whatever gets conjured up in your head, it’s all better than just waking up to grey every day. Even the Mayo Clinic agrees.
What other tricks have you got up your sleeves? Please throw them into the comment bag so we can all get through these less-sunny seasons in relatively good spirits. And then, it will be spring before we know it!