Today I would like to discuss a serious illness. Seasonal depression, or Seasonal Affective Disorder with the super-not-so-cute acronym SAD. This affliction is characterized by extreme mood changes with the seasons. Winter seems to be the season that causes the most grief, but there are some weirdos that suffer in the summer. Symptoms include, but are not limited to: inability to rise in the morning, tendency to overeat carbohydrates, lack of energy, and REDUCED SEX DRIVE. So, now we know that cold weather impairs the whoopie-receptors (Yes, we have those). All of this leads to pessimism, depression, and hopelessness. (And you thought it was our country’s economic and political situation.)
My list of projects that needs to be completed collects dust where it is taped to the refrigerator. I find it much easier to sit on the couch munching Lay’s potato chips watching reality television. The gravitational pull of the sofa often seems more than I can overcome. Weekends and evenings pass in a blur of Chopped contestants, Loving it and Listing it, and Big Bang shenanigans.
Now we know that winter is what’s causing us to be overweight, undersexed miserable people for most of the year. What can be done about it? It seems that acronyms are the only way to appropriately describe anything, so I have created one for the solution to this situation: SUCKS. It stands for Sunlight, Up-and-at-’em, Caffeine, Kibble, and Sexy-time.
The first ingredient in our winter blues recovery cocktail is sunlight. All week we are at work inside of a building; the days are short and the sun is often obscured by clouds or fog. On the weekend we ride the couch with the blinds closed wearing a bathrobe and fuzzy slippers. Get outside…get dressed first, but go outside. I know it is cold, but a little fresh air, exercise and sunlight will revitalize you and chase away the doldrums. If it is cloudy or foggy, head to a tanning salon. A little imitation sunlight may give you a lift (or at least do something for your pasty complexion).
To attack the day, and any pending projects, you first need to detach yourself from your pillow. Develop the habit of rising early and starting right into scheduled tasks. Just be sure to brush your teeth first and spare your loved ones the experience of your Ass/mouth Switch Syndrome(ASS). In the morning you should be refreshed from a good night’s sleep, so the potential energy to launch into your day is waiting to be tapped. If you don’t have a plan, especially on weekends, you will find half the day has passed while you stared at SpongeBob on the television and perused Facebook. Up-and-at-’em isn’t just something your parents used to tell you; it’s an important step in overcoming SAD.
There are thousands of articles on both sides of the caffeine debate. Is it beneficial? Is it harmful? Personally, I use it. Upon rising, my first stop is the coffee machine. I fumble at it’s functions like a zombie with a rubic’s cube. I often jam a pinch of fresh ground beans into my lower eyelid to jump start the upload; then I shotgun a twentyfour ounce energy drink while the java brews. When you’re feeling sluggish, a little caffeine can help kickstart the day. Caffeine Is Awesome (CIA).
The “K” in my acronym is for kibble and has a double meaning. First, you need fuel over and above caffeine to mobilize the skin sack of sloth that is your body. A healthy breakfast, and I don’t mean Lucky Charms or Pop Tarts, will launch you into the day with vim and vigor, no matter the season. The second meaning of kibble is: get a dog. Nothing can make you feel as good as a loyal friend who doesn’t judge or criticize. They also encourage you to get off the couch and outside, especially if you reside in an apartment. The only downside is that you are responsible for another acronym: POS (Poop On Sidewalk).
Finally, the “S” in SUCKS stands for sexy-time. It could also be for skiing, surfing, snowshoeing, or sledding if co-ed naked wrestling doesn’t appeal. The idea is to engage in a physical activity that makes you feel good. It’s great for the heart and for your overall well-being. Intimate interaction, physical activity, and laughter all stimulate the release of endorphins in our body. These make us feel good and combat stress and feelings of depression. Who knew “gettin’ busy” could be so good for you? I feel this needs an acronym, but I can’t really concentrate because I have typed sex, or similar, at least 3 times in this article. Is it hot in here, or is it just me?
Don’t let the season get you down. Follow the advice I have outlined to overcome the debilitating effects of SAD. If you are tempted to say that my plan SUCKS…then my acronym is a success. Remember: winter SUCKS, depression SUCKS, hopelessness SUCKS, exhaustion SUCKS, lack of sex drive SUCKS…Idaho does NOT!