The other day I was feeling like our Yahoo! list was getting a little boring. It's been two years, and what was once a vital, dynamic group had gotten quiet and lack-luster. So, I wrote a note asking the listmates what they'd like to differently.
Wow! What a group! There has so much activity on there the last couple of days that it is overwhelming. On top of that, it seems to have energized me to hear from so many people.
The boxes of stuff left over from the Farm Show got moved around and some were even put away. I ran the vacuum, got out of the house, did laundry, and even put a little BB King on the cd player. That might not sound like much, but this virus had been sucking the life out of me. Two weeks now, and it is still clinging to me like a stench.
It was very gratifying to know that so many people were in about the same place I was. All we needed was a little poke to wake us up. I'm sure it will quiet down again somewhat until our gardens start doing what they do, but I'm relieved to know they still care.
And for the last two additions in the Winter Blues article from the January/February 2006 issue of The Essential Herbal:
g I have been quiet and learning a lot from everyone. What I do to beat the winter blahs otherwise known as Winter Blues - last year I enrolled in a "Life Writing" class which started the first week in January. I am still taking the class. It is for seniors and quite informal. Not tests, no studying, just writing and enjoying life. I won't be taking the spring and summer class 2006. We have a greenhouse business and we start growing in mid Feb. and along about Mid March, we are out there for several hours each and every day. I did take the class last spring quarter and it got a bit hectic in May.
What I did before this new adventure was to find something completely different from what I had been doing the other 3 seasons of the year. I have yet to try tatting. It has been on the list for more years than I care to remember. Many winters ago was my soap making project and it has stuck with me ever since. Make goat milk soap and the tallow which I render out from our freezer beef.
These things keep me from thinking that it is winter as I am too busy to think about it. That is until I have to go out and feed the goats and haul warm water to them. We still don't have electricity to their barn (we moved here in '01) so that has not been a priority. It gets me out there to check on them at least 3 times a day to make sure they have good water. It gives Duke (dog) time to get the "stink blown off" too as he goes out with me to check on the goats plus check the area for messages (just in case other dogs left any as they came wandering by).
I may have snow on my roof but I won't admit to being old. I try to learn something new all the time.
LaVerle - NE WA state
g I lived in England for 4 years and never had a problem with Seasonal Affective Disorder until the last year there. Once out of the area, it resolved. But come February in the Northeast, we all have cabin fever.
Lemon balm tea has a very uplifting quality to it. We mix it with chamomile in our Gentle Soother tea for an excellent blend for its relaxing, yet light anti-depressant qualities.
Sunny Days Room Spray is another product we make, but you can make your own with select essential oils. Choose EO's such as lemon, basil, grapefruit, etc. These have been shown to affect mood. Sit in front of a full spectrum light. Make sure the light hits your forehead, so the pineal gland is stimulated. You may have to remove the lampshade for this. There are lightbulbs available in most supermarkets that have full spectrum light in the $5-7 price range.
Move around! The rhythms of winter make us want to hibernate. However, it will help depression if you participate in some sort of movement - tai chi, yoga, or brisk walks in the winter sun.
St. John's wort tincture is a time-proven help for SAD. However, do not mix it with pharmaceutical anti-depressants unless under a qualified health care practitioner's guidance.
Try Albizzia tincture. More and more research is showing Albizzia to be "the happiness herb". Most herbs for depression bring someone to a flat affect. Albizzia actually helps promote lightheartedness and happiness.
Create with herbs. Winter is a wonderful time to test new herbal recipes, try a new herbal craft, or plan spring's herb garden!