There is that first day of fall where you feel like the world is a magical place, full of wonder and change. A bit later comes that fall day when shit starts to get real and you realize you have fifty years of fucking winter stretching out before you.
On that day, which for most of us is between November 1st – 5th, you need to take your supplies of feel-good fall energy and use them to rescue your future self.
Seasonal depression is the bane of my existence. It will be the middle of July and I will be like, “You Fools! Put down your volleyballs and summer shandies! Winter Is Coming!”
I’ve been training for this all year, so consider me your honorary Ph.D in S.A.D. and how to dodge it
1. Set yourself up for success in the fall
Step 1: This is the weekend to make a bunch of healthy satisfying freezer meals. Make a day of it when you can still manage to “make a day of things.” Personally I love to make about thirty servings of soup. I make a chicken soup base and then to some batches I add cream and wild rice, to some I add curry powder, some I add mushrooms etc. And then I make a chili, because mmmm chili. This ends up being a zero-food-waste process that is impossible to mess up; it’s thrifty and delicious.
I know, I know, you are all full of fall magic and you have binged on Pinterest and you think you will be able to make it perfectly through the winter with nothing but light broths and vegetable sticks so that you can frolick fawn-like over the snow in your sweater that falls off your dainty shoulders
If you don’t accept that you are going to want something that sticks to your ribs now, you are going to have a freezer full of sad, unused meals and a big bill at your local Italian restaurant two months from now.
Step 2: Sign up for that yoga class, martial arts class, dance class, whatever-class, that you have always wanted to sign up for. We all hear about how we need to “stay active in the winter” but they don’t say “HOLY GOD, START NOW.”
Step 3: Depending on where you fall on the introvert/extrovert spectrum, schedule a weekly or monthly home date with your buddies. Whether that’s “Friday Night Poker” or “First Saturday of the Month Brunch,” put it on the schedule, put it on your friends schedule, and stick with it!
I’m watching “The Good Place” once a week with some friends. We curl up on the couch, have a glass of wine, and touch each other. Humans need socialization, even in the winter, despite what your inner Gollum is telling you. Bonus: hosting will motivate you to keep your home clean.
2. No matter how you feel about supplements, start taking Vitamin D
75 percent of U.S. teens and adults are deficient in Vitamin D. 75 PERCENT! Chances are good that you’re not getting enough D year round, but in the winter: forgettaboutit!
The laundry list of side effects from not having enough of the D are staggering. The biggie? Cancer. The sucky one that ruins your day? Tiredness and depression. So buck up girl, get yourself a Vitamin D supplement and winter on!
3. Invest in a shower filter, a humidifier, and a radiator-style heater
A wise woman once said “dry house, crusty face” That woman, was me. A-thank-you.
If you live in a dry, cold climate, you should certainly have a humidifier on all night in your bedroom. I can’t begin to tell you the difference this makes if you are prone to nosebleeds, sore throats, dry painful skin, chapped lips, and even arthritis and joint pain. I recommend having one for your office as well.
Radiator-style space heaters are amazing. Amazing! They don’t accumulate and blow dust like the fan ones, they don’t dry out your skin, and they are completely silent.
Shower filters are the difference between me looking normal and rocking a halo of static shock till spring. These will make your skin and hair much happier.
I really like this humidifier because beyond being quiet and letting out huge amazing plumes of humidity, it also does not have a nightlight, which is important if you are pretending you are a vampire.
4. Keep the air fresh
Indoor allergies are the cherry on the shit sundae that is winter. If you suffer from allergies in the winter, invest in a hepa air filter for your furnace for about 30 dollars.
I am also a huge fan of air-cleaning plants. Most of them are almost impossible to kill, and having something alive and green in your home and office is nice reminder that things will be green again one day
5. Let there be light
Wake up light
My bedroom is in the basement. I have these thick red velvet blackout curtains and black walls. Sometimes the virgins that I have chained to the floor don’t reliably start to scream early enough, so I decided to try a Philips wake up light.
This thing mimics the sunrise and magically and gently makes you open your eyes at whatever time the alarm was set for. Getting out of bed in a bright room is ridiculously easier than getting out of bed in a dark room.
Lamps, lamps, lamps
That’s the shitty thing about seasonal depression: it gets ya! You won’t believe a lamp will make a big difference because your heart has turned to a frosty lump of ice and you refuse to believe anything can help you. That’s why you gotta do that shit now! They don’t have to be fancy. You can usually pick up a few from Goodwill or Craigslist for a few dollars.
Damn, Girl, do it this weekend
There is hope for the worst of us SAD havers. Just remember that the real trick to not wanting to kill ones self during the winter months is preparation and that you have to start now.
You’ll notice there is some shit to buy in this one. And if you clicked on a product already, it’s too late, money has been made. Maybe it’s 30 cents, maybe it’s a million cents, but it’s headed my way, barreling toward my mansion at the speed of light. It’ll show up at the door, all cold and shivering, and I’ll say, “Awww! Good Affiliated Money! You found your way home! Look Everyone, it’s money!” And everyone will cheer.
November’s featured blogs will be in the sidebar at the end of the day! Check out October’s awesome bloggers one last time! Also, I am booking for December. Lemme know if you would like to be featured!