In the Deep North where I live, Spring can be a bitch. There’s really no other word for it. A friend of mine said she heard this on a local radio station: “What is December without the Holidays? It’s March!”
Yes, it’s known that Seasonal Affect Disorder strikes in the late fall/early winter but I believe there’s a SAD II. It occurs with the vernal equinox and the return of Daylight Savings Time when you live above the Mason-Dixon line or anywhere where it’s snowing (for crying out loud) after March 21! I have no proof of this, just strong anecdotal evidence and my own experience which is hard to deny.
- Close to tears when your kids, the organization you volunteer for or the people you work for ask you to do one more little thing for them?
- Biting your husband’s head off because he innocently asked what’s for dinner?
- Waking up stiff and in pain because the cold, wet weather invades your bones?
- Worrying constantly?
- Hating on all your friends who are on Caribbean cruises right now?
- Having trouble remembering to smile?
- Looking around and see only piles of laundry, where the paint’s chipped and the dust bunnies lurk?
- Feeling a lot like the Snow White dwarves, Grumpy, Sleepy and Dopey?
Then the sun comes out and the temperature rises above freezing to a searing 40 degrees F/4C!!! Suddenly it’s like that scene from The Wizard of Oz when the wildly saturated technicolor is let loose! Oh the relief! The joy! The ridiculous desire to break into song or dance to anything with a Latin beat!
But it’s just a tease because your iPhone weather app shows five incoming days of little clouds with flakes coming out of them. And once more the blanket of dread descends. I, for one, cannot take this anymore! Neither am I in a position to jump in a plane and head to the Virgin Islands. So what’s a SAD person to do?
1. Eat chocolate. No matter what’s ailing you, chocolate is the universal antidote. As it melts on your tongue, close your eyes and ‘be’ in the Southern climes from whence it came.
2. Listen to music. Something fun, sizzling, sexy with an upbeat attitude. May I suggest drums from Africa or tango from Argentina? The Beach Boys?
3. Read a book set in a sun drenched place. Murder on the Nile, anyone? Visualization releases the same endorphins as actually being there! It’s scientifically proven!
4. Dance! Wiggle that patootie! Loosen up! Raise your arms! Clap to the music. Play it LOUDLY!
5. Drink something with an exotic flavor. Mango, passion or guava juices diluted with some soda water are lovely. Add a little rum, an umbrella and you’re in Jamaica!
6. Take time off work even if you can’t leave town. A long weekend. A week! Lose the phone, unplug from the Internet (that’s actually a good idea all by itself). Sleep late. Take yourself to a movie. Maybe go somewhere close by even if just for overnight. A spa? Ashram? Anywhere with an indoor pool, hot tub or jacuzi will do. I’ll bet you could find some specials within an hour drive of your house this time of year.
7. Use your hands. Pick up that craft project that’s been gathering dust since Christmas. It feels good to do something while you video binge on basketball or episodes of The West Wing.
8. Take a nap. Stop resisting. You can find twenty minutes! Lie down on a soft carpeted floor, a chair with your feet up or on a bed. Find absolute quiet or listen to the sound of waves shushing on the beach. It’s rejuvenating like…
9. Meditate. Meditation is a teeny, tiny vacation for Spirit, Body and Mind. It really can reboot the whole system. Also scientifically proven!
10. Smile real big even if it feels like a grimace at first. Look at yourself in the mirror, smile. Release those endorphins! You will feel so silly you will be genuinely smiling in an instant. Maybe even laughing out loud! 🙂
What do you do to soothe the beasts of the Northern Wild? Your ideas would be much appreciated!!!
Elvira G. Aletta, PhD, Founder & CEO
Life gave Dr. Aletta the opportunity to know what it’s like to hurt physically and emotionally. After an episode of serious depression in her mid-twenties, Dr. Aletta was diagnosed with a rare kidney disease that relapsed throughout her adulthood. While treatable, the cure was often as hard to bear as the disease. Later she was diagnosed with scleroderma, another chronic illness.
Throughout, Dr. Aletta battled with anxiety. Despite all this, Dr. Aletta wants you to know, you can learn to engage in life again on your terms.
Good therapy helped Dr. Aletta. She knows good therapy can help you. That’s why she created Explore What’s Next.
Today Dr. Aletta enjoys mentoring the EWN therapists, focusing on coaching and psychotherapy clients, writing and speaking. She is proud and confident that Explore What’s Next can provide you with therapists who will help you regain a sense of safety, control and joy.
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