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Embracing Winter for a Happier, Healthier Season

Note from Hannah: This is a guest post by Darcy Forrest, who practices acupuncture and Chinese Medicine right here in Southern Maine.  Winter….. Most people from the Northeast hate it. It’s cold, baron, icy, and brown. Bringing out the trash becomes a slight form of torture, and the thought of getting out of the shower at 6am haunts you as you watch your last show on TV before bed. Then there is the shoveling, the scraping, the dog begging to go out when the thermometer reads 9 degrees…the numb toes, the dry skin, the icy hands, and the overstuffed winter coat that makes you feel like you’re stuck in bubble wrap. Ohhhhh, winter. Why do we loathe thee? I spent a few years in Tucson, Arizona, where the winter is not a winter, and snow literally means a city wide     . . . read more

Comfort Through Connection

It has been dreary here in Maine this October. It’s easy to feel down when the darkness, cold and rain are present, especially after a bright and beautiful summer. Naturally, we all want to find some comfort and warmth to ease the damp chill outside. I’ve noticed that many people think comfort is about numbing out or becoming detached. Activities that could promote mindlessness include watching TV, eating, drinking, getting lost in the internet, and looking at things to buy. I’m not saying that these activities are bad. They just aren’t likely to have a lasting positive impact on mood. In other words, they may not provide true comfort. Comfort really comes from tuning in: being connected to ourselves, our environment, and to others. There is comfort in providing a pleasant experience to our senses, that makes us keenly aware,     . . . read more

Outsmart Depression

It’s dreary today here in Maine. The cold and dark is beginning to wear on everyone. It is especially hard for those diagnosed with depression. Depression is a serious diagnosis that requires treatment. For more information on depression, check out the National Institute of Mental Health. I also urge you to talk with a health care provider if you believe you may be depressed. The trick with depression is that it cons you into doing things that make you feel worse. It says, “stay inside and isolate yourself from the world until you feel better.” It says, “eating junk food is the key to getting better.” Or “just sleep all day, it will help.” Or (my least favorite) “this is the way you are, nobody can help you.” In short, depression makes you think that doing less, eating poorly, being     . . . read more

Quick Tip Tuesday-5 Ideas for SAD Prevention

Attention Mainers and other cold-weather dwellers- it’s now officially mid-November! This is the time to develop your SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) prevention plan. Let’s face it, SAD is a real problem for us living in the dark and cold for months out of the year. Yes, you can always move south, but for those of us who prefer this way of life- I recommend a few tips for keeping up your SAD resistance: Sun. Find it. Sit in your car or under the atrium window at the mall. Take cues from the felines in your life- they’ll show you where all the sunny places are. Talk to your doctor about supplements. Vitamin D can be a particular problem for Northerners. Exercise. I know you won’t feel like it, but you really need to in order to feel okay. I just     . . . read more

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