December 4, 2017
 

Good morning!

I got back home yesterday after a weekend in Chicago, where a native remarked to me, “You definitely shouldn’t be able to walk around in that coat this time of year. But hey, enjoy it!” If the Windy City’s balmy weather was a chilling reminder of climate change, that reality may be easy to forget as a forecasted cold front sweeps through later this week, bringing with it the frigid temperatures and slate-gray skies that many of us find depressing this time of year—quite literally.

Dr. Kathryn Roecklein, an expert in mood disorders, estimates that only 1% of Floridians experience seasonal affective disorder (aptly abbreviated as “SAD”), while more than one in 10 Mainers do. Rebecca Lee Douglas, a New Yorker and host of the mental health podcast “Group,” defines it this way: “SAD is depression with a seasonal pattern, and like regular ol’ year-round depression, it can really screw with your life, your relationships, and your career.”

Douglas recently placed an order for a “dawn simulator and alarm clock,” a device that offers regular doses of light therapy to fend off the effects of SAD. But that’s not the only way to stay happy and productive all through the winter, she points out. Here’s Douglas’s handy guide, based on Roecklein’s expert advice, for avoiding an emotional tailspin as days grow colder and shorter.


Rich Bellis

 
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