The Art of Blues
Us women know how to persevere when the going gets tough (we’ve been doing it every month since adolescence). We have a high pain threshold (remember childbirth?) and we have a lot of patience (remember your two year old?).
But sometimes it gets more difficult to persevere through a long winter (and we’re not just talking about our dry skin and hair, not to mention all the shoveling of late). Feeling less interested in daily activities or having difficulty concentrating? Not as much energy as usual? Appetite changed? If you can relate to some of these symptoms, you might be suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or a less severe condition known as the Winter Blues. About 25% of people are affected by it and four times more women than men (blame hormones).
“Don’t get down, get out”, says Andrea Cleghorn, our savvy art therapy expert. Andrea has a few simple tips and tricks that she recommends to help combat the winter blues—whether you are “SAD” or just feeling a bit cooped up these days.
We know it’s not just our kids who are afraid of the dark. We are all conditioned to seek light and stay away from dark places. So remember the importance of lighting and ambience. (Mood lighting or a candle is cheaper than a trip to the sun.) If it’s sunny outside, get out for a walk or sit by the window as long as you can. Vitamin D produces serotonin (our happy hormone) which we absorb from the sun’s rays. Studies show that being outside for 1 hour is equivalent to 2.5 hours of light therapy (and the oxygen is good for you too). So get out skating, skiing or sledding. You’ll be surprised at how much fun it is.