When the excitement of Fall begins to give way to the business of prepping for the Holidays and the dark, dank months of Winter ahead, anyone that has lived in the Pacific Northwest for more than one of the notorious cold seasons knows to begin preparing for combat.
The enemy is silent. Perhaps the most devious enemy of all; Our own brains!!
You may know that it rains a bit here, but what you may not know is that because of all the clouds and greyness, Vitamin D deficiency is a real thing here which means that Seasonal Affective Disorder (or S.A.D.) is real, too.
Most people I know feel it somewhere on the lower end of the sliding scale that goes from laziness all the way up to thoughts of suicide.
I know, right? You can blame your laziness on the rain! Everybody does it… I actually blame everything on the rain because it lasts until July 5th. You know, long enough to have us all wearing jackets on the 4th and then the next day, BAM! Sunny gorgeousness! We have a love/ hate relationship with weather. We’re kinda famous for it. We are willing to put up with so. Very. Much. In return for our legendary summers.
So anyhoo, I would like to first offer my combat strategy for the ninja attack that S.A.D. can be:
- Exercise. Since I have lived in Oregon, I have had to get serious about exercise because it is numero uno in my line of defense.
- Go Outside. Exercise is very helpful with this.
- Take your vitamins. I do Vit. D and Iron (as prescribed by my Doc), but find Vit. B complex and fish oil helpful, too.
- Happy light. You are hilariously naïve if you think that you are going to get all the light you need naturally in these months. In fact, I giggle at you…But really, try it for at least 30 minutes a day.
- This is self-care season. If there is any better way to combat the forces of depression, it’s focusing on yourself. I love a mid-winter steam and massage. Literally feel your bones warm up. Take care of yourself.
- Creature comforts. Eating well, tea, cozy winter slippers, warm and festive gatherings with friends and family, a fire, a steam (I can really not recommend that enough), a glorious, glorious pampering foot spa, whatever. Spoil yourself. Now is the time and like the Wu-Tang Clan, your mental health ain’t nothin’ to f*ck wit.
So now for those creature comforts. For happiness this week, I need:
1. THIS AMERICAN LIFE. I do data entry for a living and if I don’t have music or Ira Glass, I will loose it all over this cube.
2. SURFER SALVE. It’s amazing, it’s Hawaiian and you can put it on anything. I use it for everything from bug bites and burns to my dog’s dry skin. There are other salves out there, sure, but none are Surfer Salve.
*PROTIP; buy it in bulk and have it on hand like I do, or give it away as gifts like I do. Either way, buy enough to make the price of shipping from Hawaii worth it.
3. BRAISED SHORT RIB RAGU. Because DERR! That’s why. Holy Mole!
4. SUPERFEET INSOLES. Don’t you judge me. Old people are SO not lying to you when they tell you that you will ache as you get older. At 34, I have chronic back pain. 3 things help me to mitigate this; acupuncture, exercise and these insoles.