How to beat winter depression

It’s that time of year again, darkness comes earlier, it is getting cold and windy bring on depression. We don’t want to go out side unless we have to work or go to the store.It is when so many of us suffer the winter blues. Depression is a problem that no one want to talk about. How do you feel especially around the holidays? It is so hard to be around those we love and not feel like a burden. How do we beat the winter blues? Can we take control of depression before it takes a strong hold on our lives?

Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD was studied by  Norman E. Rosenthal M.D his study found that some of us are effected by winter depression, he goes on to say that some of our body rhythms are effected by the hours we are exposed to sun light. Aches,pains and the blues can increase by the lack of day light.I didn’t need a study to show that, I live it every year. Do you?

What can we do?

  • Educate yourself on depression.
  • Getting up earlier so that you are exposed to more day light hours can help.
  • Planning more social events in the evening.
  • Set a regular bedtime.
  • Exercise
  • Travel

Once you understand that depression can happen to anyone at anytime throughout ones life. Finding ways to cope with the blues during winter months can also be helpful throughout the year. The closer you get to spring the symptoms of depression will get less and less. Their are supplements that can help depression speak to your doctor he or she maybe able to help. These increase the oxygen that is absorbed by red blood cells increasing the amount of oxygen that gets to your brain.

I have found that any thing you can do to increase the dopamine in your brain can help with any type of the blues. I get up earlier and take a walk in the sunlight with my dogs,I plan activities during the daylight so my evenings are free for family and friends. By scheduling holidays and school events ahead of time it gives me things to look forward to. As the holidays wrap up depression will creep up on me again. This is when I increase my exercise program and plan a trip. Going somewhere warm when it is so cold outside is just the ticket to ending the winter blues and the exercise helps me feel better by increasing the dopamine. Fitting into clothing made for warm weather is an added plus.

As we go through the seasons we find that our moods will go up and down some of us are effected more then others. Live each day to its fullest knowing that spring is on its way. Planing what you are going to do before the blues start will give you a better way of dealing with the months ahead. I am a person that feels better with knowing as much as I can about everything that effects my physical and mental health. I am always looking for ways to improve my knowledge this keeps my mind moving forward keeping it in a learning mode. Knowledge is one thing that can not be taken from you, it helps to raise your self esteem by adding valuable information that can be shared with other that hold the same interest.

The winter blues is depression that comes and goes and for those of us that suffer from depression, it feels like it will never end. If you find yourself or someone you love with symptoms of depression winter or chronic please seek the help that is available through The Mental Health Assoc. or get a referral from you family doctor. Please empower yourself, you are in control of your health.

I am strong and courageous. I am not afraid or discouraged, because the Lord my God is with me to help me fight my battles.                                                                                                                                                      2 CHRONICLES 32:7-8 (NIV)



Free from harmful chemicals, dyes and preservatives

Products are not what they seem saturated with harmful additives like preservatives, gums, starches and artificial colors.I look for organic supplements, vitamins, juices, food and dairy. Concern about the products that have a long shelf life. Package in plastic,cans,glass and barrels what is the safest way we can buy products? As consumers we need to read the ingredients on all the products we buy and be aware of standards set by the FDA.

We grow and buy foods in season, then we dry them, can them and freeze them at their peak of freshness. When handled with care we are doing all we can to keep our families safe from harmful additives like preservatives, gums, starches and artificial colors.Cooking food from scratch I know exactly what is going into the meals I prepare for my family.

What can I do to cut out the harmful additives like preservatives, gums, starches and artificial colors in the foods we eat? What about hormones and steroids? This is not good,so limit prepackaged foods,buy foods that are 100% organic without steroids and hormones these are becoming more available as the demands for them get higher and higher.

Are the preservatives that are used to keep the shelf life effecting our health?It seems like it, more and more doctors are telling us to eat fresh, cage free and open rage foods free from preservatives, hormones and pesticides.This should give us a clue that it is not in our best interest to eat foods with preservatives. Eating fresh is easy if you know how to buy, prepare and store foods. I live very close to farms and farmers markets which make that easy when the food is in season. How can I trust the food from other parts of this country or the world tobe safe? The products that are frozen seem tobe a good choice if you don’t like or trust what you see in the produce isles.

We grew up eating foods made from scratch.Eggs and dairy were farm fresh, mom would make her own jelly and can every food that the pantry could hold. Meats purchased from the local butcher and they came from the local farmers who supplied him with pork, beef and chicken. We would freeze large quantities fresh from the farm and you can taste the difference.

Today I do think that the way I grew up was so much better than the way children grow up today. I do everything I can to cook the foods my family likes in a healthier way and that includes buying fresh local produce, meats and dairy. I grow organic tomatoes, peppers, kale, spinach and berries. I do cook from scratch and I use assorted vegetables in my sauces adding fiber, natural antioxidants and vitamins. My spaghetti sauce, loaded with onion,peppers, beets, broccoli, carrots, spinach,tomatoes along with herbs fresh and dried which ever I have on hand. My blender is my friend when it comes to adding veggies to thicken sauces and to enrich the flavor. I make enough to freeze for meals that are quick on days that I am busy.

The products we use on our skin have additives like preservatives and artificial colors. This is not good. So look for products that are free from harmful chemicals, dyes and preservatives.It is not as hard as it use tobe. I like products that are organic with 100% natural ingredients one of my favorite comes from Israel and the main ingredient is sea salt. Makeup that is free from dyes,preservatives and petroleum are found at your local store or you can order what you need online. They have a shorter shelf life so replaced every 12 weeks after you open them.Lotions with vitamin e and aloe are safer then those with a petroleum base.

I aways used moisturizer on my skin. I can’t believe how we would bake in the sun for hours with no concern that we might burn.Eating and drinking anything we wanted or could afford when we left home. That was then and now that I know better I am picky when it come to putting products in or on my body that will increase the way my body ages. Sunscreen or cover up when in the sun is the rule to keeping your skin beautiful. Moisturizer made of natural ingredients keep the signs of aging at bay.

I buy products on the internet like vitamins, probiotics, lotions, juices and supplements that support our health. No one product will make you feel younger and if you find products that support your healthy life style pass it on. We are always looking for something new. Eating a well balanced diet along with exercise will give you the tools needed to live a long healthy life.

This is a drink that I find helps support my body: 4 Oz’s of Go Chi juice and 4 Oz’s of cranberry juice on the rocks it is 8 Oz’s of two of the best anti-ageing supper fruits and it tastes great. You can add 1 1/2 oz of vodka for a supper martini or 4 Oz’s of wine for a refreshing relaxing drink. Drink any thing with alcohol in moderation,of course.

I will serve the Lord my God, and He will bless my bread and my water and take sickness away from me.

– Exodus 23:25 (NKJV)

Free from my sadness and pain

How does your sadness and pain effect the people around you? Pain in any form can alter your actions. Chronic physical pain and depression are part of my past and present.

When I was 15, I felt depressed and lonely and even though I was in sports and active with my friends I felt as though I was just going through the motions.The more I withdrew the easier it was for people to walk past me as if I was not there. I don’t understand what happen I was happy and care free and then I wasn’t. No matter how hard I tried to get out of the mood I was in the more it  consumed me.Most of my friends seem tobe on top of the world.

Days would go by and I felt that no one could understand me or the way I was feeling. I started art class about that time and my teacher Mr.Heller introduced me to an exciting new world. Without knowing Mr.Heller opened my eyes to a world beyond crayons and coloring books.It saved my life, I had always been drawing and now I had someone to show me how to go deep inside and bring those feelings out and put them on paper and canvas. Mr.Heller took the time to pay attention to the side of me that  was screaming tobe heard and my four years of high school flew by. I was learning everything that Mr.Heller was teaching.It gave me confidence and brought me joy to learning something I was truly am interested in.

The love of  teaching art is what comes natural to him and a life saver to me. Mr. Heller never asked how I was or what was wrong, his interest  was in my ability to apply what he was teaching and to use it to express myself. I was able to express my feelings and I was free from my sadness as long as I was creating something of beauty.

Depression is just one of the feeling or lack of feelings that we go through in our lifetime. While I was in pain management I learned how the tools I have as an artist can help other in the way that Mr.Heller help me. I teach art classes for free to children at our public library for years and I can see their minds light up and through their eyes they show their pride as they showing what they have accomplished. Students that come back year after year get that this is away they can escape.I know that for a faction of their day I can make difference in how they view the world. If you are feeling blue or filled with pain that seems to have no end, you can do something creative to put your mind in a different place. A place that can free you from pain, if only for a short time, but be careful it is very addictive.

The more you do, the more you will want to do. Start out by looking for classes that can teach you something you will enjoy like knitting,drawing or painting. By doing something creative you can become closer in mind, body and spirit. Find classes on the Internet,TV,craft stores or find a local artist who teaches. There is no right or wrong way tobe creative and sharing it with other will leave a positive mark on everyone who experiences the change in you.I know that it works it has been a bright light in my life for as long as I can remember. Art has brought me through hard times in my life and it is a tool I use to help me manage my pain.

Art therapy can be used to get family members to express what they are feeling.You can start by put down the color that best describes how you are feeling and have them do the same. This will open up communication getting everyone involved. Put a lot of random objects in a box, have everyone pull from the box to create a sculpture and have fun.Create a sculpture that describes what you are going through and how it makes you feel.Use a crayon or marker and a piece of paper to make a moving line, even a scribble can help describe the pain you are in.Art will free your mind from depression, pain, loss and will give you some tools to open up your mind directing it to concentrate on something other than the pain you are in. Sharing what you create with those in your family will open the lines of communication bring a better understanding of what each one of you are going through. Some times we are so consumed with our needs we forget other may have problems dealing with issues and we just might be one of them.

I think about sticking with things because the thoughts of diligent tend only to plenty, but everyone who is impatient and hasty hastens only to want.                                                                                         PROVERBS 21:5

As I think in my heart, so am I.                                                                                                                PROVERBS 23:7