thinking about the seasonal depression

I ran across an article awhile back regarding SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). I didn’t think too much about it at the time. I just kind of mentally noted, “Oh, that’s interesting,” and went on with life.

Then January hit. And the bottom dropped out of my mental health.

My worst bout of depression was post-partum. But I do struggle with “winter blues” as well. A full-spectrum light bulb and a high octane vitamin D supplement usually enable me to survive until spring.

Not this year.

Several things happened at once. I was trying a new type of progesterone supplement (bad idea; I’ll be going back to my old one). I had to replace my light bulb. And we had a snowstorm that left me housebound for days.

I reached a point where I just wanted to sleep all the time. Or cry. Or sleep and cry. And eat.

I wasn’t functioning very well. If at all.

Eventually sunshine returned, and I remembered the article I’d found weeks and weeks before.

I decided to read it again.

I’m even more fascinated now. I first learned of cognitive therapy in college, and I’ve always felt drawn to it. It’s a highly effective form of therapy, especially in combination with anti-depressants or other medication.

And I had the crazy idea that I could fit it in with my Christian faith. The Bible tells us to meditate on Scripture and to “take every thought captive.”

Someone else had that same crazy idea and did a study on it.

So I’m recovering now. Still taking my vitamin D. Still using the light bulb. The snow melted,so I’m getting out more. Even weak winter sunshine helps.

And I’m doing a devotional chock-full of Bible verses specifically for depression. I’m also making my own list of verses and passages to think on, recite, etc.

I still want to learn more about the specific cognitive therapy used in the SAD study, but for now I’m going to stick with what I’m doing. And I think I’ll be okay.

link love

Confession: I’m mostly posting these so I can find them again easily. Is that cheating? If so, sorry.

But while reading an article on good starting workouts when you’re out of shape, these two routines popped up. And since I do fit that criterion and I do love yoga, I thought I’d hang on to them.

And maybe someone else will find them useful too. 🙂

Slow Flow Yoga Sequence

 

color me de-stressed

Like most things, I first saw it online. Someone was talking about some new coloring books they’d gotten.

These were not your children’s coloring books.

Next I saw a sizable collection of coloring books for adults at Books-a-Million. They looked pretty cool. Patterns designed to help with focus or to be calming–couldn’t we all use some of that?

And suddenly adult coloring was everywhere.

Amazon. Facebook ads. Even an author-entrepreneur I read was talking about “cashing in” on this hot trend.

Several of the health problems I struggle with mention the importance of stress reduction. I’ve never been all that good at dealing with stress, to be honest.

So I’ve printed a few of the freebie pages I’ve found (I don’t have a real book yet). They are quite relaxing. I enjoy them.

I see some people who post their coloring work, and they are far better colorers than I will ever be. They know which colors look good in combination. They make pretty patterns. They get these fantastic pieces of artwork when they are done.

That isn’t me.

I have no concept of color or design–I just use the colors I like. Lots of pinks and purples, truthfully, because I like pink and purple.

No one’s ever going to hand me any awards, but the process is enjoyable and the results make me smile.

Which I think is probably the point.

(You can see where the two-year-old scribbled a little on this and also a smudge–I don’t even know what that is! This is real life, baby!)

A Facebook friend posted this article. I found it interesting.

Another friend of mine loves crayons and bought herself her own set to use for her coloring, much like the article recommends. I have colored pencils that I use.

But every time I print a page for me, my two girls request that I print copies for them too. My older actually has more artistic talent than I do, so she may be posting those pretty pages one day. She uses colored pencils as well and puts a great deal of time and effort into it.

The younger uses markers and ends up with about what you’d expect for a six-year-old. But she enjoys it. And again, isn’t that really the point?

weekend web love

I’m late in the day due to NaNoWriMo, but I’m here! Here’s what I found of interest this week.

7 Natural Ways to Refresh Your Home, Fight Indoor Air Pollution, and Make It Smell Great I was so glad to find this post! I’ve kicked around the idea of some sort of air purifier, hoping it would help those of us who suffer from allergies. But those things are pricey. I’ve read other natural air purifier articles, but they all focus on houseplants. Houseplants are a problem, because of the allergies. But this gives several non-plant options (and those salt lamps look cool!).

Must-Have Herbs and Remedies: Prep Your Body and Spirit for Winter I’m posting this mostly so I can find it easily and spend more time perusing it. Some of these things I already do (my toddler baby-sitting charge asks for elderberry by name!), but I’m always willing to learn more as we move into the winter cold and flu (and other icky sicknesses) season.

That’s it for this weekend! I’m saving my writing for NaNo! 🙂

weekend web love

As promised, here are some tidbits from around the web that I found interesting or useful. 🙂

Are You Sitting Down? Why You Shouldn’t Be  No one’s surprised that we sit too much in our culture. Between computer work and reading and watching TV, we spend a whole lot of time on our backsides. But I found the tales of lowered tables and sitting on the floor more often for meals fascinating. True confession: I make it about five minutes on the floor before my legs start falling asleep. I’m a wimp in that department. Maybe some of the ideas in this blog post would help with that. If nothing else, picnics on the living room floor would make for some fun family time!

Top 10 Migraine Triggers, According to Study   I have shared this on Facebook, so friends and family reading this may have already seen it there. But I’m hurting right now because of monthly hormones (trigger #5 on this list), so it’s on my mind again. Migraine resources often point to food triggers, but those don’t make an appearance on this list. A fellow migraineur and I decided that most of us who suffer figure out our food triggers pretty quickly–and avoid them. Most of the triggers on this list are ones you can’t control (weather changes, for example). They’re what’s left after you’ve eliminated all of the avoidable triggers.

Homemade Pumpkin Spice Creamer.  I drink my coffee black. No cream, no sweetener–just pure liquid love. But this looks incredibly yummy. A lovely treat.

Is Yoga Exercise Beneficial During Menopause?  I’m not actually experiencing menopause, but my hormones are on the crazy and out-of-whack end of the spectrum, so I still found this encouraging.

Yoga Helps War Veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder  I’m for anything to help our vets.

I may not have this many links every week, but hopefully there’s something here for everyone!