Kick the Winter Blues: Home Improvement Tips to Avoid Seasonal Depression

According to Medline Plus, depression affects more than 20 million Americans.

For many people, winter complicates the issue by bringing about yearly battles with Seasonal Depression (also referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD). A three decade-long study by the experts at News in Health, indicated that between one and 10 percent of the U.S. population suffers from SAD, but there’s hope. Light therapy helps ease symptoms. Fellowship with other people also helps, as does behavioral changes. If you’ve been diagnosed with SAD, focus on staying social and take on a home improvement project to your channel your focus.

These three household projects will crank up your interaction with others, while allowing multiple benefits along the way:

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Shaking Up My Thoughts

After the day’s folderol has wound down, it’s time to relax.

Lay on the couch please

Planted habitually on the left side of the couch, my wife places on herself an animal-print blanket she sewed, and the then places on said animal-print blanket three animals: two cats and a dog. I sit on the other side of the sofa and we watch TV, check out a movie, read, or – gasp! – possibly even talk to each other.

If you’re looking for wild parties, we’re not the go-to place. I’m not sure we ever were, but for a fact, I know we’re not now. We’re not exciting – and that’s the way we like it.

Recently, our pattern was most literally shaken up when the ground began trembling.

If you live in earthquake country, you know what comes next. If you don’t, there’s a mental and emotional checklist one goes through at the first inkling of a temblor.

1)    Look for others nearby and check their reactions to decide if you’re just dizzy or disoriented, or to get validation that the movement beneath your feet is actually happening.

2)    Determine if a large vehicle is rumbling down your street vibrating the entire neighborhood.

3)    Check to see if hanging objects are swinging.

4)    If indeed you are neither inebriated nor are tanks or eighteen-wheelers patrolling your street, and your favorite dangling knick-knack is making like a pendulum; then commence praying that this now verified earthquake will not be the “Big One.”

5)    Feel fear rise up in your throat. Decide if you’re heading for safety. Wait for quake to pass. Realize how powerless you are in the grasp of Mother Nature.

Steps one through four pass blindingly fast.

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You’re Going to Pay For it Either Way

man-paying-moneySince change only comes about as a result of fear, force, or pain; we’ll do what we can to deny we need to change as long as possible

— or at least until we’ve been psychically knocked upside the head long enough and can no longer disagree that things aren’t going as planned.

Should you wish to question that premise that change only comes about due to an excessive amount of yicky-ness, can we first agree that no one, not one person, wakes up, conducts a self-inventory, and exclaims, “Wow! Things are perfect! Let me see how I can muck them up”?

The unfortunate counter-reality is we decide to modify our lives only when two conditions are met:

  1. Life is not performing anywhere optimal level — and
  2. We can no longer fool ourselves into believing, should we follow the present course, it will change anytime soon

Only once we are defeated, will we begin the process.

It’s sad, but it’s true.

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Video: Use Gratitude to Build a Better Life

Thank you signIf you want to build a better life, being grateful for the one you already have is a great place to start.

That’s the message Dr. Robert Emmons delivered recently through his work with the University of California-Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center. Emmons, an expert in the field of positive psychology, stressed grateful people empower themselves to construct ever more positive and happy lives.

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