Monday, January 12, 2009

Winter Blues

The decorations have all been put away ‘til next Christmas, the Christmas CDs are filed away, the left over pastries are getting a good start on their freezer burn and those loose-fitting jeans aren’t so loose-fitting any more. The much-anticipated “Season of Joy” has passed, once again, all too quickly.
Now, we transition right into the next season…the “Winter Blues” season; which, unlike the lead-up to Christmas, takes little or no preparation at all. Regardless of the ever-so-slight increase in daylight minutes per day we’ll still be in “winter” mode for a while yet. Especially if Mother Nature continues her argument against “Global Warming”!
After the December rush, it’s hard not to get dragged down into the melancholic afterglow of another year coming to a close. I’ll now insert my excuse of “Winter Malaise” as my reason for having written nothing in a month!
So what are we to do to offset those winter blues? How do we escape the incessant hum of the natural gas meter? How do we keep our relationships intact while moodily slugging along until the crows come back?
A trip to some tropical locale would be in order if Christmas shopping and SaskEnergy hadn’t eaten up all of the savings! Ditto on the ski trips! So, if travel is out and you’re looking for a low-cost solution I’ll try to help you out.
You have to keep in mind that not everything about winter is bad. Consider the fact that there are numerous hours of serious NFL playoff football games to be watched on the weekends and there’s probably a hockey game on TV every night of the week, too!
Okay, alright, that’s maybe a short-term fix and you would probably have to actually like those sports to really enjoy them. I suppose you could always watch something else, but stay away from the warmer climate shows like movies set in Hawaii or golf games from Florida and such. It’ll just make you more depressed.
Medical science has an actual term for the “Winter Blues”, it’s called “Seasonal Affective Disorder” and it can be very serious in some cases. There are many ways to treat “SAD” including light therapy and medicine’s ever popular anti-depression medication. It goes without saying that you should consult your physician before you decide on any treatment at all, including “Couch Potato Therapy”!
Exercise and diet are the best and easiest fixes. Exercising rids feelings of depression by increasing serotonin levels. The use of fitness centres, skating rinks and toboggan hills are just a few examples of fun ways to remain active. “You are what you eat" holds true when depression creates an urge to indulge in high-sugar foods that gives temporary liveliness, but eventually decreases energy.
Above all, show your true Canadian colours and embrace the winter before it embraces you!
“The simple solution for disappointment depression: Get up and get moving. Physically move. Do. Act. Get going,”- Peter McWilliams, Life 101.