When Blahs Hang Around – Part I
Winter season around here means cloudy days, heightened germ swapping, and a general decrease in fresh air activity. Sometimes too much of the same leads us smack up against a need for change – AKA doldrums busters. Take a general sense of lethargy, couple it with the natural letdown after a bright, shiny holiday season, and soon the stage sets itself for an unwelcome rendition of Not So Happy Days Are Here Again.
Nonexistent songs aside, what’s to be done when the blahs hang around like relatives who seem to have forgotten the way home? Is there any lasting cure? Or can we hope at best to find only temporary lures away from the blues zone?
Whether it is winter that has got you in the dumps
Or some other life event that’s serving up some lumps
If you think that happy days are lost to not be found
Here’s a list of lighteners to turn your mood around
What’s A Grown-Up to Do?
For ease of conversation, let’s define a grown-up as anyone who has either 1) reached the age of majority for the area of the world in which they live or 2) is under the age of majority but self-determinant in most life decisions.
Many grown-ups have commitments all day, every day and find little time or latitude to effect change in routine, at least without monumental effort. Always busy, they find ruts developed and deepening as time passes. Perhaps the muck and mire in the trenches sucks them under, or at very least, obscures a brighter view.
That just won’t do.
So while others were busy with those things – RhymeLovingWriter™ got busy too – researching what experts say about the doldrums – and how best to bust out of patterns that bring on the blahs.
What the Experts Say
Note: For your convenience, everything in the following four paragraphs is condensed here.
Science is a great tool to have in your box of tricks. This article from Real Simple sports a ‘top eight scientifically backed’ list of methods to beat winter blues. My favorite on this list is #2. I read as far as the word “chocolate” and figured these folks must know their stuff.
This second article, from Everyday Health, doesn’t have the word ‘scientific’ in the title, but it mentions books in the #4 spot, and since books are closest to #1 on my list of favorite things, I took that as a good omen. Some might call that verification. Duplicating results is very scientific.
The NHS in the UK provides a list along similar lines (because globalization is just a fact of life now folks – get used to it). Some of their information overlapped the others, but #6 about taking up a new hobby, struck me as genius. A person who already has zero hours free in their day can certainly tweak things to take up a new hobby, right? Never fear, there is a way to do this. You just have to pick the right hobby (see below).
This article from Web MD focuses almost entirely on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), which is a real thing. Also, doesn’t it make you smile that the person who named this condition, characterized by being sad, was compassionate or clever enough to make sure that the name, when truncated to initials, spells out SAD? That person was on-the-ball I tell you…on-the-ball. Natural light therapy was the main recommendation here.
More articles yielded similar results. I’ve simplified and condensed them below:
1) Eat chocolate (not too much)
2) Read a good book (or get audio for hands free)
3) SMILE (the fastest, free, NEW hobby to adopt – just think of the clever person who named SAD)
4) Get out in the sunshine
With an IDKT (I Didn’t Know That) Sneak Peek
Sometime soon RhymeLovingWriter™ will dedicate an entire post to sharing interesting new facts with readers. The IDKT column will aim to pass on little bits of lesser known information…to edify, delight, or amuse…mode of reception remains your choice!
For instance, did you know that ‘the doldrums’ has a nautical connotation associated with it? I didn’t – before starting this blog post. Perhaps a childhood spent in the Midwest provided no natural pathway for this data to convey itself. While researching though – out it stood – to be recognized and recounted.
I’ll be back soon to share – When Blahs Hang Around – Part II (for youngsters). Until then: