Beating the Blues: The keys to breaking free of S.A.D. and other boughts of depression
Let’s get this sorted from the start: Having S.A.D. doesn’t mean you ‘are sad’ per say. It means that you are in a predisposition to the possibility of becoming depressed due to physical, environmental, and even weather-related situations. Especially when those factors are ongoing, less than ideal, and likely keeping you indoors for days or weeks or even months at a time.
Cabin fever sucks. It is a real phenomenon and it is most generally felt in 10 groups of individuals:
- those who are forced to endure long periods of time in a tiny, secluded, or unchanging location (ie the cabin of a naval submarine – hence where the term originated from);
- those who are cooped up due to extreme conditions of weather, not just blizzards, but also hurricanes, tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanoes and other climate/earth related situations;
- those who are confined to their home/hospital for any significant period of time that is not usual for them – such as being bedridden for over a month during a difficult final trimester of a pregnancy, recuperating from a significant surgery or accident which limits mobility, a quarantine, illness, or other sickness that requires more than a day or so to recover from;
- bus drivers and pilots and long-haul truck drivers. You might be surprised that they would feel it, but oft times, they feel the most trapped, seeing the sun and not being able to enjoy it;
- This might include miners, who spend their lives under the ground, diamond, coal miners and others who rarely see the sunshine;
- stay-at-home parents/caregivers, who are unable to get outside as much as they would like to, especially with young babies or ill children;
- cleaning staff of a large building, such as a hotel, who live at the facility (you’d be surprised how many around the world fall into this category! (one website alone has 116 current vacancies for positions for Hotel Live-In Jobs, and that one is based out of the UK!);
- teachers, who have to endure the constant barrage of sick children and the angry parents who don’t understand why their child is getting sick… that’s a whole other article though, so I’ll just walk away from that right now, and shake my head at their silliness;
- anyone else who doesn’t get to enjoy life in a regular way that so many of us take for granted.
There are a multitude of ways people try to beat the blues.
Some are affective, others destructive. Some find their “way out” through consciously working on acknowledgment and fighting against the sadness wanting to overtake them. Others find outside sources in order to distract them. Whichever you choose, be it internal or externally influenced, make it a healthy choice. Swallowing your depression with copious mouthfuls of alcohol will only increase and oft times exacerbate the situation; for many, depression seems to hit when there is a financial issue that is prevalent, like loss of job, or increased debt from an unexpected life event.
Millions of people suffer from S.A.D. – Seasonal Anxiety Disorder, and it’s not just those in the Northern Hemisphere, though most people are the ones who have to endure long dark days with the only brightness in a day often times being the fluorescent lighting of the office they work in, or the school they attend. Unfortunately, these sufferers also have boughts of sadness in their summers as well, when the weather tempts them to go out and play in the sunshine, while they are forced to sit at their desk and slog it out, hoping to get a bit of happiness on the weekend or their next day off.
All too often, especially in major cities, due to the influx of traffic/pollution during a week, the weekends are generally crappy at best because the weather dealing with the week’s worth of smog and congestion. That’s why people complain about how craptastic every major holiday’s weather is usually in the summer especially, as they didn’t think that they’re not driving their cars around as much, and many major industries have at least a portion of their company that is Monday to Friday, with the weekends as off for most of the workers, if not “skeleton crew” at most.
The reason this is important, is that when you take into consideration what all happens with a person, there are ways to get around the sadness and actively participate in making your own life not just controllable, but fun as well.
Here my top ten ways to beat the blues: ((I will go into detail about each of these in their own specific articles))
Regular sleep routine.
Eat 3 meals/day. If your doctor/certified nutritionist/dietician sets a 4-5 meal regiment, do that as per their orders. Whatever it is, do it daily and do not skip meals.
Brush your teeth, shower, and comb/brush your hair.
Change your clothes (and make sure they are clean!) twice a day.
Get outside at least once a day.
Don’t let your mind be alone too long.
Keep busy physically.
Avoid drama and negativity.
Accept and acknowledge life isn’t always fantastic.
Obviously, there are a lot, and I’ve left out other possible important ones… but you will have to decide for yourself what is best for you.
In the next several articles, I’ll begin to go into a bit more detail about why each of these in particular are so necessary, and how to make sure they are put into practice in order to get past the depression, even if it is slowly, methodically, and purposely, so you are aware of how to spot it before it kicks in the next time, and your life gets ‘away from you’.