Even in parts of the country where winter has been relatively mild — no onslaught of record-breaking snow or cold, no weeks on end of shoveling, no three foot drifts that may be fun for the kiddos but exhausting for the adults — it’s hard not to feel the drag of the chillier months.
Some of us are affected by SAD: Seasonal Affective Disorder, and try though we might to turn our faces toward any source of light we can find, winter still seems to Drag. Our. Spirits. Down.
A quick touch-base with most of my friends reveals the very same somber state, and generally that’s true regardless of location. That said, I admit there isn’t a one who lives in a sunny southern California zip, much less along a beautiful beach in Bali, Belize, the Bahamas…
Like me, and possibly like you, they are dealing with a dreaded dose of doom and gloom. They – we – you – are slouching and slumping, sunk into sadness, and working each and every day to fight a dreary disposition.
Now I might say that everyone can use a mid-winter pick-me-up. (Yes, a sun-sational seashore comes to mind.)
And while the Mayo Clinic offers prescriptive interactions that include light therapy and medications, my own preference is for something more “active” — if not an actual exotic destination in which bright skies are plentiful (and the drinks are tropical), and if not finding a place in my imagination to recreate a similar scene — these are among my go-to tricks to fight the moody blues that inevitably hit.
This one isn’t a bad idea. Aromas are powerful in evoking memory, but also, in sparking the sensual or conjuring the cozy. I may not care to venture out of my home office onto slippery roads to purchase a bunch of blooms — much as I am tempted — but perhaps a spritz of perfume could add a floral touch to the inside air.
Another possibility. This is a daily habit I’ve picked up in the past year: Vitamin D.
Is it helping? Hard to say. But I doubt it hurts.
My fallback position whenever any unpleasantness squeezes the good humor out of me?
Art. And if not art specifically, then color.
I need to pull them out. All of them. Scatter them anywhere and everywhere for the juicy jolt of renewing rouge rouge rouge.
The fuchsia towels I snapped up eagerly at Tar-gét on sale many moons ago?
Time to mix them in with the red towels tucked Oh So High on the bathroom storage shelf.
For myself, even when light is wanting, I know my mood to be enhanced by color nearly immediately. WebMD tells us about color psychology in our interiors, referring to color as
… a universal, nonverbal language… that can be leveraged to affect emotions and behavior…
In fact, research tells us that red and blue impact the brain. Check this out from Cracked.com, on the 5 Crazy Ways the Colors Red and Blue Control Your Life, which explains the multiple responses to red (in particular) as the color of passion, power, and yes… danger. But it seems that the color red can actually make you physically stronger as well, according to Science Daily.
While I certainly don’t suffer as I once did (all the years in the snow and cold, and my deepest empathy/sympathy to those in the northeast and midwest who are dealing with a brutal winter), February – usually mid-to-late month – is always the time when the SADness hits the worst.
What else might assist as I gaze out at the snow and slip-slidey surfaces, feeling housebound and blue?
Seeing red. Dusting off my fave sandals and sexy stilettos in anticipation of warming weather, and in the meantime, if only for myself, enjoying that pedicure.
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