I am hoping to make this a joint venture with help from all of you who have found ways to cope.
Today my classroom was almost empty. I know exactly why. Half of my classmates looked like they had been dragged in under a bus. This weather is ass. (Brilliantly Eloquent, aren’t I) I have Seasonal Affective Disorder. So I have spent quite a few years under a doctor’s care (uaully acupuncturist and herbalists because I hate drugs) and studying ways to survive winter. Somehow here seems worse. Maybe it is because mom is 6000 miles away. But most likely it is because of the moody weather.
I am, as most of my friends are, exhausted.
Unfortunately with exhaustion comes depression, grumpiness, and short tempers. So blah. We don’t want that. :raspberry:
I am going to share what I have learned and what helps me. But I know that what works for one does not work for all. (don’t we all wish) so I am hoping to see other posters add to this.
The obvious, of course, are nutrition and exercise. Making sure you get enough sleep. (cat napping in my case)
Being that it sucks outside many of us avoid being outside. Which means we avoid seeing the sun. Which means we don’t produce serotonin. Sooo. Make sure to take every opportunity you can to see the sun. (even though I have forgotten what he looks like) Spend time near windows if you can. Take outdoor walks during your breaktime (even though it sucks out there. Sun is needed for proper brain function.)
When considering nutrition, You should remember that the cravings you are having are a sign of something missing. But you should manage these with supplements and healthy foods that fit the craving. If you are craving sugar, eat fruit. If you are craving carbs, try to eat something whole grain and not overly processed.
While cravings this time of year are typically for high fat, starchy foods and sugar you should bear in mind that these foods will actually make you MORE tired.
Eat when you are hungry, but eat smart. Many people see the increased need for food during the winter as a thing to avoid. But not eating when you are hungry will actually cause you to be more likely to eat bad foods that will, in turn, make you feel worse. When you are hungry eat. Even if it is not meal time. Snacking is good for you if you snack on healthy foods. Fruit is, of course, the best choice for everything. But be careful of too much citrus as it can cause canker sores. (as my mouth will tell you).
Increase your B vitamins. Bananas and avocados are both very good sources of B vitamins. It is always healthier to eat your vitamins than take supplements, but if you aren’t going to eat it, get a B supplement. B is VERY IMPORTANT in beating winter blues.
Also, dairy foods help with serotonin production. But try to avoid fatty dairy. Because the wrong kinds of fat can cause more fatigue.
Be careful with caffeine. I love coffee as much as the next person, but using coffee as a pick me up has a rebound effect though and will actually make
you more tired in the end.
Avoid foods that will cause constipation. Recent studies have shown that constipation can actually cause severe depression (in women). And the lack of exercise in winter months increases the instance of constipation.
Drink lots of water. Dehydration can make you feel like poooooooooo. (there is my eloquence again).
If you start having problems, I suggest seeing a Chinese doc. Acupuncture, herbology, reflexology, and all that jazz has REALLY made a difference for me.
Light boxes are damned near impossible to find here. But using time appropriate lighting helps. During the day try to keep your area bright. As night gets closer, start lessening the lights. Uncover your windows to let the light in. Take as many walks as you can (did I already say that?)
And naps. Naps are my friend.