Do you have the blues?
I don't know about y'all but I am experiencing the wintertime blues. Did you know that this is a real thing? It's called Seasonal Affection Disorder and people with Fibromyalgia are more prone to S.A.D. (and yes, it spells SAD), especially in the wintertime. For some reason, this winter has been particularly hard on me, physically and emotionally. If you are still confused about Seasonal Affection Disorder, here are a few typical symptoms associated with SAD::
- difficulty waking up in the morning
- increased daytime sleepiness
- lack of energy
- decreased interest in work and other activities
- carbohydrate cravings, leading to overeating and weight gain
- difficulty concentrating
- withdrawal from family, friends, and social situations
Do any of these things sound familiar? Hmmm... maybe it's just me, then. ;)Well, I may not have the cure for the wintertime blues but I'd like to share what I do for relief for a long winter of the "Blue Monday" and Fibromyalgia.
1. Sleep. Sleep. Sleep. Make sure you get plenty of sleep. I cannot stress this enough. Not getting enough sleep is probably the worst thing you can do to your body. Your body heals and recovers while you sleep. On the other hand, you will be tempted to over sleep and sleep WAY too much if you are suffering from depression, SAD, and/or fibromyalgia. All or even one of these things will make you want to stay in bed all day. Get the right amount of sleep for you, but face the day each morning rested and with a smile! :) (I am talking to myself here)
Melatonin. If you have problems sleeping, 3mg of melatonin might just do the trick. Melatonin is a naturally occuring hormone that helps with sleep. If you find yourself needing a little help in the sleep department but don't want to resort to sleeping pills, try melatonin. It's all natural and it won't make you feel groggy the next morning. Start out at 1mg and increase up to 12mg. (Again, please consult with your doctor. I am not a doctor - just merely making suggestions on what works for me.)
2. Exercise. This is the last thing I feel like doing but believe me, you will be glad you did. Exercise increases endorphins, which makes you happy. :) (Is anyone else quotting Reese Whitherspoon in Legally Blonde right now? Remember when she says endorphins make you happy and happy people don't kill people? haha) ANYWAY, moral of the story is you should exercise whether you feel like it or not. Your body and your mind will thank you later.
3. Vitamin D. One thing your body lacks in the winter is Vitamin D. We usually hibernate in the winter because it is colder, therefore we get less sunshine, and therefore less vitamin D. This vitamin plays a crucial role to bone and muscle strength. Vitamin D deficiency has a direct correlation to depression so supplementing this vitamin, especially in the winter months in vital. (make sure to speak with your doctor before starting on a supplement. Too much vitamin D can also be harmful.)
4. Heat. I should probably put this one right up there with sleep because heat is so important to someone in constant pain. Heat comes in many forms:: hot showers, hot baths, heatings pads, fireplace, a warm blanket, fuzzy slippers, your favorite sweatshirt, hot tea or cider, electric blanket... and the list goes on. You can see why winter is not my favorite month, but then again you can see why the fireplace IS my favorite.
5. De-stress. This one has been hard for me. I would definitely say that I'm still working on this one. When I think of destressing, I think of a harmonious home with everything its in place and the angels are singing the Hallelujah chorus. ha! My home is far from perfect but I'm learning to say no to things when I just can't handle anything else on my plate.
6. Diet. You knew I was going to mention this one, right? Sigh... As much as I don't want to admit it, the things we eat have a direct effect on how we feel, look, and act...oh and don't forget weigh. If you have fibromyalgia or even if you are suffering from those wintertime blues, eliminating things like caffeine, MSG, sugar, processed foods, yeast, red meat and yes, even gluten will help you feel more alive and energetic. So what can you eat, you ask? Eat a diet rich in greens, nuts (but not peanuts), beans, fish, organic chicken. There are plenty of healthy foods to choose from that aren't processed. One of my favorite websites for eating whole and organic foods is http://www.wholeliving.com/
Good luck beating those winter blues!