Mental Wellness

Cloudy Days = Depressive Haze

Seven days without sun, makes one weak. (a nod and thanks to JW Snodgrass)

I feel rotten. I want to close my eyes and sleep every hour of the day away. People crowing about their recoveries on other websites. Bleh. I think it’s going to be a very bad winter. This kind of depression doesn’t usually hit until November. It’s September.

I know what I have to do to feel better. I don’t want to do it.

  1. 15-60 minutes of exercise a day
  2. less junk food
  3. reach out to friends
  4. clean the clutter out of our place

Expletive Expletive. Frozen in muck…

Two days have passed… After 7 days we may have an afternoon of sun! I may revive. I’ll keep you posted.

What are your coping strategies? How do you get through dark days?

It’s Manic Monday and that’s good news! Thanks for reading and commenting. -Rebecca

Cloudy Skies and Tamarack Photo: Rebecca Cuningham
Mental Wellness

Book Review: Lost Connections

Johann Hari uncovers seven key reasons why people get overwhelmed by depression. He not only identifies them, but enumerates how to remedy them. Lost Connections: Uncovering the Real Causes of Depression – and the Unexpected Solutions helps us sift through the physical, mental and emotional underpinnings to our condition.

One disappointment, Hari spends a lot of time debunking the need for medication. I cannot agree with him. Medication not only helps many people with their mental health, it can save lives. That’s a decision between someone and their psychiatrist. But apart from that point, his book is fascinating and helpful in examining how we can feel better.

We Need Seven Areas of Connection:
1. Meaningful Work
2. Other People
3. Meaningful Values
4. Feelings From Childhood Trauma
5. Respect from Others
6. Natural World
7. Hopeful or Secure Future

When people are connected in these seven ways, their mood lifts and life satisfaction increases. Johann Hari researched extensively for each chapter; has examples and the studies to back them up. I found what he said about connection true for my life.

I highly recommend this book to improve mental wellness.

It’s Manic Monday and that’s good news! Thanks for reading and commenting. After the photo below, click comment at the end of the tags. : ) Rebecca

Holding Hands on the Beach Photo: Mike DelGaudio
Mental Wellness

5 Ways to Fight Seasonal Depression

When I learned about my sensitivity to light, my fall to winter seasons for depression made more sense. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), and the shorter days send me into a slump. That was my experience, even beginning in high school; my depression begins in November and is the worst in March after months with little sun.

Compensating for the Lack of Sun

  1. Take a larger dose of vitamin D3. I take 5000 IU.
  2. Use a full spectrum light box for 15 minutes each morning.
  3. Bundle up and go outside for winter sun. Spending time outdoors in the sunshine gives our bodies vitamin D.
  4. Continue to exercise daily. Cardiovascular workouts can give us natural endorphins and improve our mood.
  5. Limit your sugar and alcohol intake. Candida in the intestines can crave sugar, and makes us feel depressed. Alcohol is also essentially a sugar.

Talk to your doctor or psychiatrist to see what they recommend and to talk about the possibility of adjusting your medication, if needed. Since I began to take the high dose of vitamin D3, I have noticed my seasonal depression is not as severe. We have a a light box that we use at breakfast. As for points 3 and 4, snow shoveling is my main outdoor activity in winter, good exercise! I also go for walks. My diet is low in sugar and carbohydrates as my naturopath recommends. That helps me stay on an even keel. Although I’ve had progress in fighting seasonal depression, I still wouldn’t say no if I were invited to spend a week on a sunny island in March!

What are your defenses against depression?

It’s Manic Monday and that’s good news! Thanks for reading! –Rebecca

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Fall Leaf  Photo: Rebecca Cuningham