Joel

As the days are getting longer, the shortest day was on the Winter Solstice, December 21. It means that daylight is stretching out our days and that we are slowly working our way thru winter. 

Soon we will spring forward, and then right around the corner is spring. I enjoy more daylight, and people with SAD also look forward to more light in their lives. 

Seasonal Affective Disorder is very under-diagnosed, with up to 26% of Americans suffering from this disease. It is four times more common in women than men, but children and teens can also be affected. I’m not sure if I have this problem or not, but I do feel better, more positive when we have more daylight! Of course, the warmer temperatures, lack of snow and ice helps my disposition also.

I do tend to take longer naps in my “Comfy Chair” in the winter. When it comes to taking my naps, any time of the year, I have studied under the Zzzz Master, my Dad who could sleep and watch sports on tv at the same time he held a cigarette in his hand! I also am a master of “Kung Snooze!”. 

There are many treatments for SAD, light therapy, sitting under lights that are designed to simulate sunlight. Talk therapy is another avenue, nutraceuticals, and of course taking prescription medications. 

Many people, Snowbirds, go south to Florida or Arizona in the winter.  I don’t know if there is any difference in the number of daylight hours or if getting into a warmer climate is the reason it seems to help with the “Winter Blahs!” I have, on occasion, gone to the sunshine state or the copper state in the middle of winter, and I must admit I enjoyed it! 

Don’t get me wrong, I love our northern winter months, for the most part, Christmas would not be the same for me without all the white snow. The fresh, crisp smell of new snowfall on a winter’s day and the crunch of the snow underfoot when temperatures are below zero. The sound of a snowmobile whining off in the distance, all feel like home to me. 

But I must admit, that as I continue to grow a little older, the cold feels colder! The days feel shorter and the ice gets trickier to walk on. The snow seems to be heavier than when I was in my 20’s. 

At least one thing has not changed, being a Zzzz Master myself, I love my uncanny ability to take naps no matter what geography I am in or what time zone. I truly am a “Man For All Seasons” when it comes to the ability to take a nap in my “Comfy Chair!”

To those that suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, please talk to your caregiver; there are some excellent treatments available to help you transition thru this time of year. There is no need to shrug it off and to endure. We all need a little help sometimes; life is too wonderful not to enjoy every minute of every day! If you have a family member, friend, or acquaintance that seems to be a little out of sorts, take some time to chat with them, let them know you care about them. 

I think it’s about time for my second nap of the day. They say you should take advantage of your strengths in life; I will do just that under a nice warm throw blanket.

“Remember, every day is a gift! Some are just a little more fun to open than others. – © Joel M. Vernier 2020 Author of: “The Guinea Pig In The Freezer.” joelmvernier@aol.com. 

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