“February is the worst, because I’m tired of being cold and wet all the time.” Those are the exact words of one Gildshire reader, and the approximate opinion shared by many of you. The second month of the year is mostly distinguished by gray days and intermittent rain. It gets to us all, but some people are worse off than others. Those among us plagued by Seasonal Affective Disorder are ready to wring someone’s neck or sit down for a good cry. It really makes you wonder why the creators of Leap Year put the extra day in this month. Personally, I’m in favor of July 32nd over Feb. 29th! Well, since that isn’t going to happen, what are our realistic options for surviving the month.
Plan Next Year Better Than You Planned This Year:
We’re starting with this one because it is too late to do anything about Feb. 2020. But, assuming you are going to take a little vacation sometime during the year, why not make next year’s in February? Outside of Valentine’s Day weekend, February is a low airfare month, and a pretty good month for room rates at good hotels. Best of all, if you choose wisely, the sun will shine on you and the afflicted person in your life. We like the Country Inn and Suites in Tucson, Arizona. Check-in midweek and checkout on Sunday for $112 a night.
Vitamin D is Your Friend:
The reason you feel dumpy is that folks afflicted with Seasonal Affective Disorder crave the Vitamin D that comes out of the sun and bathes their heads in warmth and goodness. The rest of us get enough Vitamin D from our daily lives. Yes, the sun is part of it, but the Vitamin D from the sun sticks around longer term. SAD means that Vitamin D from the sun comes and goes like a thief in the night. Absent the Vitamin D the afflicted is left with a sense that life will never be good again. In some cases, you might consider asking your doctor for Vitamin D supplements. They are not a replacement for Good Old Sol, but they take the edge off the worst of the cloudy days.
Socialization Can Help:
I know that you want to go to bed and cover your head on your bad days, but this is where you have to be a trier girl (over 80% of people diagnosed with SAD are female). Moving around, greeting friends, having a chat with them about your life and theirs. These actions will stimulate your brain and your bloodstream, moving the Vitamin D that is in your system around your body. Be social at least three times a month, even if once is just for a coffee with one person that is not your spouse. Studies show that an outing with someone outside the household inspires the Vitamin D we need.
Add Light to Your Indoor Life:
Most of us don’t get enough ambient light from outside. But, this is much more pronounced in the case of Seasonal Affective Disorder. So, a trip to IKEA for living room lighting! *Bonus thought* Go to IKEA with a friend, buy some living room lighting, and have some of IKEA’s yummy Swedish meatballs. It’s a social occasion with lights and meatballs!
Take Daily Morning Walks, Rain or Shine:
Bundle up and go outside. The exercise will do you good, and the hot shower you take when you get home will feel heavenly. Or plan a walk just before lunch. Either way, the exercise routine is good for the mind, body, and soul.
Seasonal Affective Disorder afflicts an estimated 10,000,000 people in this country. That’s about one in twenty. If you are afflicted or are the significant other of one who is afflicted, you know how bad it can be. Try our ideas, and see if a little relief comes your way.