Tuesday, December 02, 2008

how to fight off SAD

oh me oh my, i feel a case of SAD (seasonal affective disorder (thanks for the link tangobaby, so i didn't have to google it)) coming on. i'll bet gregory house, m.d. could come by and cure it in a matter of minutes, but i digress...i think i last saw sunshine when i was in oslo last week. since i got home, it's been grey, drizzly, dark and depressing. the sun comes up after 8 a.m. and already feels like it's going down around 2 p.m. (but really goes down between 3:30 and 4). this does not promote happiness and energy, i must tell you.

i'm not sure why titled this post "how to fight off SAD," as if i had some advice, because i have none. i'm deep in the throes of it. when my sister was here last winter, she'd go give herself a light treatment at the tanning place. i can't really bring myself to do that...for a couple of reasons...my recent sunburn from boracay and the fact that i really hate the smell of the tanning booth. you get that hot bulb smell and it takes more than one shower to wash it off. i'd rather wallow in the pit of despair than smell like that.

what's strange is that i have little or nothing to wallow about...i've spent the past couple of days settling all of my wonderful art supplies into their new home in the writing house and it's wonderful out there. as soon as it gets light enough to take a proper picture, i will show you. i attempted to take some pictures today, but this is how they turned out:

another reason to be happy is that my fabulous moo cards came yesterday. i love them, they are fantastic,  they make my heart pound with joy, but i cannot photograph them to show you because it's too friggin' dark and when i use the flash it flashes out and looks like crap. so even my moo cards make me sad.

i'm also happy that i have new glasses, which i also cannot photograph because it's simply too dark and dreary to get a good picture. hmm, maybe my whole problem is that i'm suffering from photographic withdrawal.  we're using our fireplace and going through boxes of ikea candles, but despite the warm glow, i'm still mildly depressed. we've been making pots and pots of tea. husband has been at home to entertain me, and still i feel cranky. it's the weather. and the darkness. i need sunshine.

i can understand why christmas came about this time of year, growing out of pagan winter festivals, we need something joyful in this dark time. bringing a tree indoors and decorating it with sparkly colorful balls and lights, it's a way of being closer to nature in the midst of the darkness, isn't it? spending time with family and friends, eating good food while candles glow on the table, that seems like a good way of combatting SAD, but there are still a few weeks to go. and i need something now. perhaps i should just invest in a proper flash for my camera...

any advice for combatting SAD that doesn't involve a tanning bed or a 5+ hour flight is most welcome.


Barb said...

Julie, Why don't you look into full spectrum light therapy specifically used for SAD?

My daughter suffers from SAD and we have looked into buying one for her. They are under $200.00USD and well worth the $'s if all the research I have done is as positive as I'm led to believe.

Good luck, Barb xo

Gwen said...

I was going to suggest the light therapy, but I didn't know what it was called.

Baking usually helps cure what ails me. I don't need to eat the baked goods; just making things in my oven gives me great joy.

Your pictures made me laugh. I think most of mine look like that, actually, even without the early setting sun to use as an excuse.

mo said...

I feel your pain. I usually get a good SAD hit in the winter too. I think one thing that helps a bit , though I always fight it, is getting outside despite the cold and dreary wetness and taking a walk or being out with the trees. Up close things don't look so altogether gross and grey. I reminded myself that on December 21 the days will inch longer again and that helps a tad too.

Amanda said...

Exercise. They say that those endorphins can combat most anything. Maybe bake something, like recommended above, eat it and then go for a walk?

I can't be of much help as I am still in sunny florida...sorry!

Brenda Pruitt said...

I agree. HATE the flash on my camera. Hate the "too brightness" of the photos. So I never turn it on. Living in East Texas, we get a lot of sun. So I feel for you there. In fact, we often get a little too much and it's humid too. Hang in there, girl!

tangobaby said...

Oh no! Even though your pictures are making you sad, that black photo was kinda funny! (no no not laughing AT you, laughing WITH you!) But I do want to see your MOO cards because I bet they are fantastic.

I have heard that those special lightbulbs make a big difference and surely would be much better for your skin than a tanning bed. (Just think, Sarah Palin will be a wrinkled mess someday because tanning beds are HORRIBLE for your collagen layer. I probably shouldn't have mentioned her name here under present circumstances, sorry.)

But yes, exercise, making something fun, sleep, all those things can help...and you have us so you can be SAD and we will try to help you from afar.

ps. I finally did see a little snippet of House. I cannot get over Hugh Laurie not having a British accent--it was very odd to me. You could rent the DVDs of Jeeves and Wooster with Laurie and Stephen Fry and that would definitely make you smile for a while. Season Three of Blackadder has Hugh Laurie in it too and he's very funny.