Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tips for Combatting Seasonal Affective Disorder

The husband and I went out to a movie last night. My favorite part of any movie-going experience is definitely the previews. I get so excited about previews. By the end of the previews, I generally have forgotten what I paid 9.00 to see.

Anyway, last night they showed a preview for the film “The Road,” a post-apocalyptic tale based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, a man whose novels I avoid on principle. (I feel like I’ve said that before.)

John just finished the book and has spent the last couple of days in a bit of a funk. The story is about a man and his son trying to survive in a nuclear winter. There is cannibalism in this novel. Nothing like a story about nuclear holocaust and cannibalism.

The previews for the film are dark and bleak. There is no sun in a nuclear winter. Just grey skies, dead wildlife, a dreary cold earth. Kind of like Rochester six months out of the year.

This is the hardest time of year for me. December isn’t so bad… the Christmas lights that come out after dark help to quell the feeling of emptiness caused by cloudy, grey days. By the time mid-January hits, I am ready to call it quits and move to California. I don’t even care that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the governor there.

I totally suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as (how clever is this?) S.A.D. I also suffer from clinical depression. The depression is definitely exacerbated by the S.A.D. If during the darker months you get the gloomy gloomies, it is possible you aren’t getting enough sunlight.

Here is my winter list of things to do to try and combat S.A.D.:

Take Vitamin D in horse-pill form. Also Vitamin C. Go outside even though it hurts my ears and my nose and makes my feet cold all day. Think happy thoughts about things like waterfalls, rainbows, and how fun it would be to host a HSN show. Smell my babies’ heads. Exercise. Snuggle. Enjoy the woodstove. Read things that are unintentionally funny, like Sarah Palin’s autobiography. Smash up my Zoloft and put it in brownies. Read the bible, but not Job, Ecclesiastes, or Lamentations. Barter sex for vague promises of trips to the Caribbean. Enjoy the fluorescent lights of Target. Buy clothes to wear on vague future trip to the Caribbean. Take naps with Daniel. Post picture Caleb draws of the sun on the wall and pretend it is real. Avoid films about the holocaust, the apocalypse, or space. (Because space is dark.)

Curl up in a ball and say buh buh buh buh buh until May.

What to you do to combat S.A.D.?


Toaster said...

Exposure to light is definitely supposed to help--like you said, spending time outside (brr!), even just 15 minutes per day, but also sitting near windows and even turn on lots of lamps inside and fitting your lamps with full-spectrum lightbulbs.

Not everyone in Rochester has S.A.D., but I think many of us get into a bit of a sub-clinical funk this time of the year, especailly after the holidays are over.

Emily said...

How about "Visit brother and sister-in-law in sunny Florida"? :-) Seriously, last winter was the happiest winter I ever had, by far. And you are always welcome, even with a kid or two in tow. More than two might be a problem, as our house is pretty small.

MGBR said...

I offer no magic solutions except for the part about your cold feet: What you need is some SmartWool socks. If I could afford them, I'd send you a pair or six, but my source is Santa Claus, in the form of a man who recently underwent SEPTUPLE bypass surgery--a that fact, every time I write or say it, still triggers tears of astonishment and relief... Anyhow (clears throat, dabs eyes), SmartWools--get some! They're (almost) magical.

Heidi said...

During the winters when I am motivated enough to waste the money and make the trips, I buy a tanning membership. It helps with the light exposure thing, I feel better when I am not ghostly white, and I try to pretend I am not inviting cancer into my body!

Holly said...

Visit to Fla: Maybe so.

Wool socks: In my letter to Santa.

Tanning: Removal of several pre-cancerous spots plus extreme claustrophobia makes that option, unfortunately, an impossibility. Sigh.