Don't be SAD... Spring IS Coming (Eventually)
Seasonal Affective Disorder is real. And even if you're not textbook SAD, winter can get to be a real drag. With that, What I'd Rather Be Talking About this week is turning your frown upside down.
If I had a nickel for every time I said, “I *ing hate winter.” or “Why the * do I live here?” I’d be living my best life in Formentera, Spain. (See above pic) But instead, I live in the Midwest, which means that this week started out “balmy” (48 degrees) and as I write this, my local weatherman is talking about tomorrow’s winter storm that’s supposed to be a doozy.
Really, what’s a girl to do? (Except go to hot yoga and look for travel deals daily.)
Anyone living in a cold weather climate knows that winter really plays with our emotions and makes us feel blue. Annoyed. Sometimes even angry. (I’m talking to you, icy windshield that doesn’t thaw.) Safe to say by February we’re kind of over the cold, slush, wind, and darkness. And you guys, as I write this, I swear I’m in a really good mood.
The bottom line - winter gets to us, and some of us get more affected than others, especially the elderly. Experts agree, and have named the clinical ailment SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder. You might be wondering - are the “winter blues” the same as SAD? (I wasn’t sure either.) This issue addresses that question too.
By now you might have guessed that this week What I’d Rather Be Talking About is beating the winter blues.
With that, let’s get to the goods.
THE GOOD STUFF
PODCASTS TO BEAT THE WINTER BLUES
In this episode of Foodtrainers, Solutions for Those Winter Blues hosts Lauren Slayton and Kayleen Eslinger dig into the difference between the winter blues and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and offer advice and help for each.
Regardless of the season, one thing that affects how we feel is how we feel in our bodies. In this episode of The Balanced Blonde, Soul on Fire, Dave Asprey (of Bullet Proof Coffee) tells us how to live smarter, not harder in “The Biohacker’s Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want.”
Maybe you don’t want any advice or facts, you just want to listen to something that makes you laugh. Fair enough. Here’s a post that outlines 11 funny podcasts and tells you the pros and cons of each, so you don’t need to waste your time listening to someone who doesn’t make you laugh. Because that sort of defeats the whole purpose.
READ ABOUT IT
I know one thing that would help me feel better is a fast train (or plane) out of Dodge to see something new. This blog post outlines 15 travel podcasts that might give you some ideas.
Speaking of getaways, if you love discovering great restaurants with fabulous views, read this.
Or, maybe you really don’t care about views when you dine - you’re there for the food. In that case, check out Yelp’s Top 100 Places to Eat in 2023.
One more thought… if the weather is crappy, why not just curl up with a good book? My favorite online book source, Bookshop.org (where online sales help local bookshops) can clue you in on the latest best sellers.
Okay, I know this issue is about things that will make you happy during this blah time of year, so you may wonder why I’m recommending Dear Edward. It’s a story about a plane crash that kills all 191 passengers, except for a 12-year-old boy named Edward. Before you throw tomatoes at your screen for suggesting such a sad storyline, give it a watch on Apple TV. I guarantee that the human kindness and interactions among the survivors will make you have faith in humanity. This a great reminder that human relationships are what help us get through life’s toughest moments.
I don’t know about you, but the promise of travel always makes me a little happier. Keeping in mind that 2023 is the year of travel, I wanted to give you some affordable options for travel. Here’s a unique YouTube that features advice from top travel content creators/experts on the most affordable and amazing places to go this year.
Not into galavanting all over the place and looking for more of a beach and a tall drink type situation? I hear you. Passport Pages has some options for all-inclusive vacations that are priced right.
LIFESTYLE & WELLNESS
Okay, the podcast with Dave Asprey provided a few ways to hack yourself into feeling better. Here’s some more inspiration from a 91-year-old fitness instructor from Japan.
The Today Show was all over beating the winter blues a few weeks ago. Take a look at these products that can help you get through these final weeks of winter.
If products don’t help, food usually does. (Am I right?) Here are a few recipes to warm your stomach and some wine suggestions to warm your soul. First, enjoy the flavor of Spain without needing a passport. Check out these 5 Easy to Make Spanish Soups that will keep you cozy and bedazzle your palette. (Did I just write that last part?)
I think it would be a disservice to offer those cozy soups without a lovely glass of Spanish wine. James from Spain Revealed takes you on the streets of Spain to explore wine, while Julian Miquel from Alti Wine Exchange offers a complete Roundup of Spanish Wine.
Back to food… not a big soup person? No problem, just check out 20 Foods that Help Fight the Winter Blues or 15+ Plant-Based Meals You’ll Want to Make This Winter.
AND, ON A SERIOUS NOTE
I’ve given you some casual suggestions for getting over SAD or the winter blues. None of these were meant to take away from the fact that feeling blue is never good. So please, do what you can to feel better… and if that doesn’t work, please reach out to your doctor and/or someone else for help. Your mental and emotional health is as important as your physical health.
Speaking of doctors, I’ll close this week’s issue with a link to one of my dad’s writings in Letters to Louie. In “Winter Kill” he tells a few stories about patients and friends he encountered who suffered from SAD or the winter blues. He drives home the fact that from a medical perspective, the condition is real and there are solutions to help.
As usual, his perspective is insightful and spot-on and reminds us how important it is to above all, watch out for each other and recognize the signs when people need help.
May you all be warm, toasty, and hopeful as we forge ahead to close out this beast we call winter.
P.S. Thanks for reading all the way here! If you haven’t already, I’d love it if you’d subscribe. Just click on the link and choose the “free” option. Thanks!