Thursday, January 3, 2013

S.A.D: seasonal affective disorder~

Well, it's January and seasonal affective disorder seems to be in full swing for most people I know. I was humming along all this Fall and through the holiday and BAM! January 2nd comes and I actually contemplated crawling inside the couch cushion. It's so hard for me to deal with this because I'm usually a pretty upbeat person but damn, I'm still adjusting to our new move on top of reeling from the stress after Hurricane Sandy hit our town. So much was up in the air, we seriously thought Christmas was cancelled. Not cool.
I wanted to talk about S.A.D a wee bit on my diabetes blog simply because stress and good blood sugars don't really mix. Also, we tend to eat like royal crap when we're stressed (can I say Comfort Food?!) and then the vicious cycle of momentarily feeling better only to be followed by frustration ensues. But anyone can use these ideas---it's great for diabetics who are really trying to work through, but I think most people feel a bit [of] SAD from January-March and could use some pretty easy, straightforward practices to move yourself out of those dark moments literally in the dead of winter...

  • Listen to music. Go ahead and laugh, but I particularly find Louis Armstrong, Buena Vista Social Club, Jack Johnson, and anything not too hipster-melancholia-makes-me-too-nostalgic-moody good for my winter state of soul. Do you have any music that gets you through? Share your ideas in the comments below, I'd love to get some fresh music on my iPod.
  • Drink Lemonbalm tea. It's calming and regenerative and tastes so good it literally makes you happy. It's also antiviral, a great thing during the cold and flu season. However, it's mildly suppressive to the thryoid, so people with hypothyroidism may want to avoid it. You can buy the dried leaves and simply steep them (about a tablespoon) in a tea ball or sip through a tea straw. 
  • Do calorie burning exercise sessions on Fitness Blender. (I'm not being paid to say that) Seriously. It's just an awesomely fun, no frills, no tacky music, husband&wife team who do exercise sessions from 10-30 minutes that have really been working for me as a person with diabetes (and a toddler) trying to find creative ways to do cardio since it's too freaking cold out for me to really enjoy walking. Hey, I live by the ocean, it's superwindy in the winter! ;)  I really liked starting out with this one; it's great if you're just getting back into exercising. 
These are my ideas that have really helped me in the past years---pretty easy, eh? Sometimes these types of "guides" get out of control, I think, and people end up being so overwhelmed with the information provided they don't feel like they can even do one of them. Basically, I suggested that you relax and escape (through music), relax and slow down (with tea time---literally making the time for tea; there's a point to it---it forces you to relax), and get moving---but still relax (with exercise); you'll feel the effects of it immediately after doing even 20 minutes of cardio---your mood will be improved, your entire outlook [for winter, haha] and the aftereffects continue on in the form of relaxation, improved sleep (even if you get little of it due to having a toddler) and just feeling better about yourself knowing you are taking care of your body. And because the mind-body connection is well, true, it all connects back to itself because taking care of your body is taking care of your mind. 

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