Happy day after Valentine’s Day, and President’s Day, my loyal subscribers! Did you indulge in gourmet chocolates and wear pink? Did you watch a romantic flick? I did all of these things, and let me tell you, it felt good. I appreciate holidays like Valentine’s Day because it is just one day. Unlike Christmas which is a never-ending loop of overeating and sitting around too much. My point? Indulgences feel better when they’re short-lived.
Here is this week’s Roundup. I hope you enjoy.
It has been snowing in the Northeast for what seems like months. I’ve been finding mental reprieve by reminding myself that Winter will come to an end, and Spring will show its sunny self here soon.
While cozying up by the fire and looking out a snow-filled window makes Winter seem like a dream, that dream turns into an angry nightmare when the cold, ice and snow simply don’t let up.
It got me thinking about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which, surprise! affects women drastically more than men. According to Health Matters…
“Winter SAD is linked to less daylight, which is exacerbated by spending more time indoors. Seasonal affective disorder is a strong tendency to become depressed during a specific time of the year — most often in late fall, continuing into winter. There can be other years when the dip is milder than a full depression, or even absent. Summers are most often symptom-free.”
So, what can we do to combat SAD?
In addition to Feel Good basics (eating well, exercising daily, keeping a routine, getting outside, and keeping a healthy sleep-wake schedule), here are some science-backed ways to ward off the winter blues.
- Take a vacation. While Covid is making getaways to Florida seem like a pipe dream, any change of scenery will boost your mood, even if it’s a staycation at a Bed & Breakfast in your wintry town.
- Create social situations. Again, difficult to accomplish during the pandemic, but there are ways around this. While virtual life isn’t ideal, it is the next best thing. Having routine FaceTimes with friends and family is extremely helpful in increasing serotonin levels in the brain. You can also set up weekly coffee or hot chocolate dates with friends outside, and make Saturday morning walks with your neighbor a priority.
- Wear color. I know, the cold weather months are an excellent excuse to wear all black all the time. But incorporating color into your winter wardrobes will put a serious pep in your step, as color is proven to boost mood.
- Consider antidepressants. If you really cannot shake your feelings of sadness, fatigue, and lack of motivation, talk to your doctor about taking antidepressants.
The New York Times, in my opinion, has done an incredible job of shedding a realistic, albeit dispiriting light, on parenting during the pandemic — especially for mothers.
Give this “primal scream piece” a read when you can: How Society Has Turned Its Back On Mothers, where the author argues, “This isn’t just about burnout, it’s about betrayal.”
I love when I find a brand that gets it. Futuremood is the world’s first sunglass brand proven to alter your state of mind, their energy-boosting and calm-inducing lenses built on the principles of color therapy.
Um, is it like drugs for your eyes? Kind of. Here is a review from a critic at InsideHook:
“They are, if nothing else, powerful. These are not like sunglasses with colored lenses that you’ve worn before; no, those merely tint your world the color of the lens. With these, there is no tint — you are consumed in a sea of yellow or red or blue or green. This in itself creates a certain placebo effect: whether it’s therapeutic or not, you will feel something.”
Their brilliant concept gave me an idea: Color code myself to keep the days of the week straight. Aka blue sunglasses & blue lipstick on Mondays (calming), yellow sunglasses & crewnecks on Tuesdays (peak creativity), and so on until Friday.
Why does color coding work? We have multiple things spinning on our plates, 100 percent of the time. For me, I have my book, this newsletter, a magazine column, a series of eBooks to write, a handful of clients to please, endless pitches to send out, and a clothing brand to launch. These things are easily jumbled if not properly organized and prioritized.
Some people color-code their notebook tabs to stay organized. I color-code myself. I encourage you to try it with me.
Because it was just Valentine’s Day, you know, the universal day of *love,* here is (yet another!) excellent tip from modern mental health studio, Mindful Counseling:
“If you’re struggling with loving yourself, and advocating for yourself, that’s going to make it harder for you to stand up for others. There is a connection there. Love yourself and apply that to others who need your advocacy.”
What is everyone reading? I feel the need to get lost in a page-turning fantasy thriller. Are there any other book clubs out there other than Reece’s Book Club? Love that club but am yearning for something different.
In case you missed it…
Last week I spoke with a clean living expert on overcoming alcoholism and anxiety, where she showed us how to live life intentionally, no matter what battles we’re up against. Here is our convo if you didn’t get around to reading it:
Thank you for reading today :) If you love this newsletter, share it with your network. And if you don’t love it, tell me why so I can make it better.
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Ashley is a writer based in Connecticut. She is currently working on a memoir focusing on the becoming-a-mom identity crisis, and is on a mission to de-stigmatize mental health issues.
You can keep up with her writing & her life at the links below: