Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 16, 2006, Herald Journal

Don’t be SAD...Do something!


I must have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I can’t wake up in the mornings and most of the day I’m blue and sluggish especially on those gloomy days.

With the sun barely shining these past few weeks, I can really feel it wearing on me. I bet the majority of the people diagnosed or undiagnosed with SAD live in Minnesota.

Yes, there are people that enjoy those wintery days, but for someone who doesn’t enjoy skiing or snowboarding and doesn’t own a snowmobile, winter is rather a drag for me.

I do enjoy figure skating, but where and when, tend to stop me from following through on the idea.

As I was driving to work one day, mind you, snow was drifting across the road because it was so blustery and cold. I was talking to my mom about being depressed. She tells me to go outside and take a walk. “It’s windy, why would I want to do that?” I said. “Well, it’s supposed to warm up later,” she said. So I replied, “I’m going to work, when would you like me to take a walk?”

Apparently, I’m supposed to use the time I would normally eat my Chef Boyardee to enjoy a walk in the brisk daylight with my three-inch heels on. This doesn’t appeal to me in any way.

Then again, I could wait until after work, but at 5 p.m., who wants to walk in the dark?

I want a gym membership, but the funds are too low for that and if I were to do that, who’s to say I’d actually go.

It’s so easy in the cold months to lay on the couch, curled up in a fuzzy, warm blanket and watch good or not-so-good TV.

I spend a lot of time reading during the winter months as well. I usually have two or three books I read at once. This keeps them interesting and I don’t get bored with them.

I find, there are times when I’m in the mood to read a spiritual book or a different type of book like the current one I’m reading. It is “A Million Little Pieces,” which is about a drug addict recovering in a Minneapolis treatment center. It is highly recommended, even by Oprah (despite the recent allegations of it’s falsehood).

Another activity that can help curb SAD I recommend, is scrap booking. This isn’t normally a summer activity, so get it done during the winter months.

Also, putting together puzzles (I actually just thought of this now and it’s brilliant, I think I’ll go home and start putting one together tonight). This usually takes many days, and it’s fun for the whole family or if you’re single like me, it’s a fun activity to do solo as well.

So get out that card table and photos, or that jigsaw puzzle when you start feeling those winter blues. If you really want to help SAD, you can always get a light therapy lamp to use while you work on your project.

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