L-I-V-I-N-G with Seasonal Affective Disorder. In Maine.

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LOOK HOW FUN!!!! Winter is JUST THE BEES KNEES, RIGHT!!!!??? Uh, no. Actually, I have a long history of winter blues that subjects those around me to endless complaining about feeling cold, and not wanting to do anything except snuggle under a blanket on the couch. This year my ‘winter blues’ seemed worse than usual (…..perhaps there is a connection to my father dying the weekend before Christmas… just a theory ūüėČ )
So I took a quiz. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). But then I noticed the quiz was on a ‘phototherapy light’ website, so I figured they probably diagnose everyone with SAD to sell more lights! So I searched for more appropriate diagnostic tools and found another, more lengthy, test from a more legitimate source. And it said I had Seasonal Affective Disorder. To which I thought, “Meh, it probably says everyone has everything.” So I took a test for depression, and then one for anxiety. It said, “No ma’am. No depression or anxiety in that little brain of yours. Ya just got the ole SAD.”
So what are the “textbook” treatments?
Drugs: No thank you. And thankfully, my home remedies have been working so I don’t even need to consider that route!
Exposure to sunlight: CHECK!! Even though they are INSULATING and keep the rooms warmer, we decided natural sunlight was worth the little extra we may pay for heat this year.
Light therapy: Open to it if needed, but I think I’m good!
Psychotherapy: All set thanx.
My treatment regime prescribed by myself, and Google…
After lots of reading and, previously learned knowledge having been in the mental health field for over 20 years now, I know the importance of exercise to mental health. I also know how few people actually follow through with this, so it’s important to me that I practice what I preach. So I exercise almost every day.
Several articles discuss the importance of engaging in activities, particularly winter activities, to find enjoyment during winter months. So, I stopped saying (aka whining) “No… it’s too cold and yucky” when Lonnie says, “Hey, wanna go _______?” We started Friday night board games, a new tradition I am LOVING!!!! I have PLANS to see Black Panther Friday night with friends and I WILL GO EVEN IF IT’S COLD OUT!! (I said it here so now I have to!)
  • I’ve hiked!
  • I’ve snow-shoed!
  • I’ve cross country skied (for about 6 feet)!
  • I’ve walked the dogs!
  • I’ve shoveled!
  • I’ve started a gratefulness/21 Days of Happiness journal
  • I’ve stopped listening to news all day
  • I’ve STARTED listening to Oprah’s Soulful Conversations instead of news! (Amazingly inspiring and thought provoking!)
  • I’m watching what I eat and drink and even doing a Whole30 (or 20) (maybe 8) (I’m on day 8 ūüėČ )

We (speaking of “we,” having a super-supportive partner who isn’t afraid to tell you when you need to get your shit together and your ass off the couch doesn’t hurt!) are in full-on SAD battle mode and it’s WORKING!!! I feel great, and when I don’t, I recognize it, and FREAKING DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT— SEE ABOVE!!

::::Drug commercial tagline alert::::I may have SAD, but it doesn’t have ME! LOL Had to.

Winter. (OK… This is mostly really about makeup LOL)

How cool are these little towels my aunt makes!?

As with every winter, even this mild one, I have faced my winter doldrums. My added schoolwork load just makes me even more whiney and blahhhhhhhh. Usually, our yearly winter getaway trip keeps me from just spending the winter under my comforter, but this year (thanks to Jessi), ¬†I ALSO have my new makeup obsession as well. ¬†I am having SO Much FUN playing with makeup every day, buying new stuff, and watching youtube and instagram¬†videos. Even on days I don’t have to go anywhere, I find myself excited to shower and get dressed and sit at our vanity to play. ¬†LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Obsessed. Yup.

 

Some of my favorite stuff right now…

Tartiest Pro Palette

Tarte Maneater mini palette

IT Cosmetics bye bye pores pressed powder (dude. This shit is made of magic.)

Tarte Lights Camera Splashes mascara (super natural looking and waterproof – – which is good when you are a crisis worker sometimes!)

Too Faced Better Than Sex Waterproof mascara – – more glam, almost looks like falsies. (I save this one for going out and about ;-))

And some of my favorite YouTube makeup peeps….

https://www.youtube.com/user/lustrelux

https://www.youtube.com/user/jamiegenevieve

https://www.youtube.com/user/MannyMua733

https://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreestar

https://www.youtube.com/user/hailiebarber

https://www.youtube.com/user/melraemusic

And when I feel like keeping it real and not pretending I am 20….¬† lol

https://www.youtube.com/user/HotandFlashy
My always-contagious enthusiasm even spread to by BFF and we spent an awesome day just hanging out at my place playing with makeup and watching youtube videos of other people playing with makeup!  It was absolutely wonderful.  We used to spend SO MUCH TIME together, but our lives have changed so much over the years, we have to really make an effort to get that time together!

Buddies since birth!

 

P.S.

Stick a pin in 2 more classes done towards my MSW, AND still rockin’ that 4.0, baby!¬†Just started two more on Monday, which means I will have to do HOMEWORK while we are away on VACATION!!¬† BOO!!!

 

 

CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christmas used to be my jam.  I was SOOOOO into it!!  I started pre-gaming for Black Friday the second the leaves started to turn!

Then I got divorced and everything changed.¬† The kids have to go here and there and everywhere and we have to schedule in Christmas.¬† Rick and I always had a giant rager of Christmas party that I always looked very forward to with all of our friends and that’s gone.¬† We always got up WELL BEFORE DAWN and headed over to his parent’s house for presents, food (CRAB DIP!), and fun… then after a nap…. LOBSTAH DINNAH!¬† ….and for me, that’s all gone.¬† And coincidentally, right around divorce time, the kids got older and less into toys that required me to line up and freeze my ass off with a bunch of other crazy people at midnight. These days they are more into clothes and pricey things, and their presents are divided between here and Rick’s house, with the result being the ‘under-the-tree- space looking more sparse with a few ‘big things’ than abundant with tons of ‘little things.’¬† (yeah yeah yeah Christmas is supposed to be about family and love and blah blah blah go away)

The past few years I have tried to make new traditions and stuff, but honestly it’s been a half-assed effort.¬† Let’s be real.¬† I’ve spent the past few Holiday seasons sulking, moping, and being ridiculous. Very ‘If I can’t have the Christmas the way I love then I don’t want it at all!!!!¬† SO THERE!’

Yesterday the kids (lol… @ “kids” since one of them is 20) and I were at Target and they ran into the Christmas section and were ALL about it, while I said things like, “Do I REALLY have to decorate?¬† It’s just a nuisance.”¬† Holy crap I am a jerk.¬† I thought about it all last night and sent this to Jessi this morning…

So it is ON LIKE DONKEY KONG!!!!!!!!!!!¬† LET’S DO THIS!!!!

Move Musings AKA– Where should we live!?

Big trips and little trips always get me all in a dither about our several-years-from-now move. Yesterday Lonnie and I took a day trip down to Portland to see ‘Jurassic World’ at the IMAX and do some grocery shopping at Trader Joes. ¬†All day long there were many mentions of someday actually living in a city with both of those right nearby!

We want to live in a city where people are physically active and there is lots to do nearby.  A giant plus that I have noted, is that no matter where we go, finding a job should not be an issue for me. There is no shortage of people requiring mental health services in this country!!  
We keep going back to focusing on cities on the Gulf coast because I think we feel like it will be like living on vacation.  So that is where I started my googling adventure on this rainy morning.
Florida

We think about Florida a lot. ¬†Over the winter, I worked with a personal trainer who had just moved up here from there and he often talked about how much more active people are and how much more there is to do, ¬†He also claims that after about 2 years, you get used to the heat (he is from Massachusetts originally). ¬†Also I like the idea of living somewhere that people will want to come visit us and use us to save on hotel costs ūüėČ
However….
I have been to Tampa and Orlando. While I can see myself enjoying life there, I’m not sure I can resign myself to never having my hair look good again. ¬†Florida=frizz. ¬†Also…. I’m not sure I believe my trainer about the heat thing. ¬†The closest to summer we have been there is May, and “hot” is an understatement, so I can’t even imagine what it’s like in August. ¬†How active outdoors can you really be in the summertime when just walking from your house to your car is atrociously heat-oppressive??
Texas 

I have focused on Austin in the past, but I think I am over that.  Today I researched Houston and Galveston and was ALL ABOUT IT for about an hour.  Great economy, near the ocean, lots of gorgeous/cheap apartments.
However….
Looking on message boards ¬†there are an overwhelming amount of comments from people like this…
Do yourself a favor while you’re ahead. Don’t move to Houston.


It’s a hell hole.”


Lots of comments about how the only thing to do is go out to dinner. That the heat is so oppressive that in the summer all you can do is stay indoors. ¬†That it’s Jesusland. ¬†Traffic. Rednecks. High crime.
Oregon

I am pretty excited about Portland, Oregon!  If I can get past the rain issue, it sounds like EXACTLY where I want to live!
However…
Not sure I can get past the rain issue. ¬†As we all know, I am a little prone to the Winter Blues. ¬†I’m not sure if that’s the 567 feet of snow and snot-freezing temperatures keeping me indoors that causes it, or the actual lack of sunshine. ¬†If it’s the former, then we should be fine!¬† ¬†
I have no idea where we will end up…. or maybe we will take some time in each one! ¬†But I have plenty of time, and I am having a lot of fun figuring it out!!!