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Winter Blues, Seed Catalogs and Me

Winter Blues, Seed Catalogs and Me

Before spring finally arrived last year, winter nearly had its way with me. A concoction of being in the country where we have no neighbors, brown grass and brown fields – basically lots of brown – many days of clouds and cold was a recipe for sadness, frustration and anxiety. 

The winter blues, or the medical term, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is diagnosed by a mental health specialist who may do a litany of tests including a physical, blood tests (complete blood count, or CBC, and thyroid check) as well as a psychological evaluation. I am self-diagnosed. Based on my own experience, I know I have a proclivity to be a little down during the winter months and in this post, I discuss what has been beneficial for me in navigating through the long days of winter. 

Light Therapy

When I said I was having trouble, my sister loaned me her lightbox. Light therapy is frequently used to treat SAD and other conditions through exposure to artificial light, usually during the first hour of wakefulness. Her light mimicked natural outdoor light and looked like a cloudless blue sky. As I got ready for work, I’d turn it on and feel warmth (and hope) again.

Other tried-and-true strategies:

    • Eating right. My meals were balanced—high in fruits and veggies with a palm-sized serving of protein and a small amount of carbs. I steered clear of sugar, loads of caffeine and alcohol, which I knew would affect my sleep. While this may seem crazy, including a dish or two on the dinner table reminiscent of spring and summer, such as a nice light salad, helped. 
    • Walking outside. When the temperature and weather conditions allowed, I bundled up and went outside a couple of times a day for about 15 minutes to get a shot of Vitamin D, courtesy of the sun.
    • Getting regular sleep. I try my best to stick to the recommended seven to eight hours of sleep daily by practicing my nightly wind-down routine.
    • Talk to friends and family members. Talking to people closest to you is a good way to get your mind off of the stress of winter and seasonal moods. So set up a chat with your friend, a family member, or even a professional if you need.
A collection of seed catalogs from years past. As you can tell, they’re a long standing publication! 

Seed catalogs

Have I ever told you all how much I love receiving seed catalogs at the beginning of the year? A seed catalog is a subscription sent straight to your door so you can shop vegetables, flowers, perennials, herbs, and heirloom seeds and plants. When I get a catalog from Gurney’s, Harris or Burpee’s or any one of several organic catalogs right around January or February, it immediately lifts my mood. After all, there is planting to be done. The gardens are calling, and I must plan … 

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As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.

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