"Winter Blues" - This Chick's Life
If you live in Michigan than you have experienced the frustration of adjusting your routine each Fall for Daylight savings time. Colder weather, shorter daylight hours, Holiday “blues”, and now COVID isolation will cause frustration for most Michiganders.
For many Winter brings an uninvited guest – Seasonal Affective Disorder. Everyone experiences it to some degree, whether they admit it or not. COVID 2020 has layered on additional symptoms.
Hello, my name is Vicky Gottschalk. I own Wildly Tasty Chicken, a farm in Michigan that produces clean, organic, chicken. Eating clean, locally source food that is low in preservatives, antibiotics, and additives. It is a way of life that I share with my customers.
Isolation, loss of social interaction, unemployment, feeling of helplessness, depression, fear combine to make a powder keg that many are not equipped to handle.
Maintaining several lines of support is as essential as good nutrition, and exercise. Keep at least three (3) lines of support in place.
- Hobby and Exercise partners
- Work friends
- Church and Social engagement
When you begin to feel anxious, depressed, overwhelmed, scared, angry (PTSD) STOP. Recognize that you are experiencing these for a reason. Think of a three-legged stool, if one of the three legs disappears, the stool will fall.
Your mental health is similar. Most people have three lines of support, and a few lucky ones have more. When one of them disappears, you will begin to feel fear, anger, unsettled. Take the time to write down your lines of support. Try to add a new line of support every year.
When you feel the signs of SAD, Depression, PTSD, Anger, Fear… Look to your lines of support. Did you lose contact with one of them? Work from home now? You may feel the loss of work friends.
Church, social interaction at restaurants, watching/playing sports together, no longer exist in the same way. This increases isolation anxiety.
Now add in shorter days, lack of vitamin D from sunlight and exercise and it is a powerful mix to handle.
Remember that you aren’t alone. Today’s social media is a great way to stay in contact. Exercise with virtual partner, take a class, even join a watch group for your favorite sporting event.
Eat Clean, Locally Sourced Food - like Wildly Tasty Chicken, eliminate additives
Stay Social – text, join a watch party, make a comment on a post, take a class
Get Outside Every Day – Exercise, 15 min of sunlight absorbed through your eyes will give you the daily Vitamin D requirement
Eat Well and Drink Water - all year
Change Work Environment – use a standing desk, look outside, put plants on your desk, get creative
Keep a Schedule – have a routine you follow regardless of the weather is key
Depression and Symptoms of SAD are real and life threatening!
It always recurs at a particular time of the year. Scientists think SAD is caused by the lack of sunlight disrupting the body's balance. The journal Nature by Johns Hopkins University states our eyes have special photoreceptors that monitor light levels. We respond to light levels that affect mood, sleep, temperament, digestion.
Symptoms can include craving carbohydrates, sleepiness, lack of motivation, increased levels of fear. Insist on natural light, sit, work, exercise in front of windows even if it is cold. Exercise, eat right, drink water, repeat.
Live Science. https://www.livescience.com/11665-cope-seasonal-affective-disorder.html