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So fall and winter are normally a difficult time for me anyhow with seasonal depression. I usually combat it with spending time with friends & family or going to a venue or just going out to eat to get out of the house. This year will be a little different and I suspect more difficult. I was reading an article saying we should have things planned to do so we do not fall into depression. What are some of your plans to stay healthy and sane?

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I often need to walk up and down at all hours because it helps my back. I’ve found the longest straight walk in the house and cleared furniture out of the way so that I can do it in the dark without walking into things. The little ‘on’ light on a piece of equipment helps without destroying night time vision.

In the daytime, I have quite a few mirrors on the walls besides my ‘walk’. As I go past, they reflect changing views, including the outside through the windows. Glass fronted bookcases do it too. I also have two or three vases and dishes that are covered in mirror mosaic and reflect light from outside (eg one on the floor outside a french door to reflect lights from the sky onto the ceiling of the room inside). They all help to give me things to look at as I walk up and down, and they change as the sun goes across the sky. Good luck with a mirror collection!
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NinjaWarrior,  another perspective:  how can you have "walks" indoors?  Can you arrange furniture in one room at least to create walking space?   And what kind of incentives and diversions can you create to make the indoor walk more interesting? 

My father used a hand/foot device, which I've written about frequently.  He sat in his chair and peddled while listening to music.    Or he put the pedal device on the kitchen table to work on his arms.

Treat the session as you would an outdoor session, with hot chocolate (or coffee, or whatever) afterward.    Make it something to look forward to, with some kind of treat afterward..a massage, favorite DVD, or CD and an indoor concert.
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I am completely dreading winter.

I have been religiously taking my mom, who has Alzheimer's, for walks every evening. I do it to tire her out so that she can sleep well at night, and to reduce swelling in her legs.

For the most part, I can usually "trick" her into walking. However, as it gets colder and darker, it's increasingly harder to get her out of the house. I'm terrified she'll start sundowning.
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GA,

Yeah, we do have our downpours where it dumps on us pretty badly!
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Thanks, Barb!
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For those who asked, here are the boots I bought:

https://www.zappos.com/p/merrell-moab-2-mid-waterproof-granite/product/8807339/color/5667
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NeedHelpWithMom, I had to chuckle when I read that you "get a fair amount of rain" in New Orleans.   From the trips I made there, I'd say you get a whole lot of rain, and there's never any prior notice.   It JUST starts pouring.    Then shortly thereafter it stops.   

It's a very independent and spontaneous type of rain.   I learned to locate the places to duck into in the French Quarter, and carry an umbrella with me wherever I went.   NOLA has it's own unique kind of rain.

As to why your husband enjoyed track running but not walking, I think you almost have to experience track running.  It's a different style, a different training, different goals, and definitely not relaxing as walking can be, during which you can slow down to listen to birds, stop to watch a butterfly, or just to admire clouds.   Track running is competitive; running is not.    Your husband probably enjoyed the excitement of competition, you probably enjoyed the leisurely pace and relaxation of walking. 


Lynina, it's wonderful that you're going to resurrect letter writing.   I wish more people would.  It's so interesting, and so rewarding to receive a letter.    Well before the Internet changed communication, I used to locate "pen pals" in needlework magazines, and once was corresponding with dozens of other needleworkers, many from England.  

Some of us hit it off so well we exchanged items - magazines, fabric, a flower press, and more.   International correspondence started for me in high school, when I wrote to a few Japanese people my age.  I have a lovely set of Japanese wooden sandals like Geishas wear, plus a fan and a "lamp" (I don't remember the exact name of it; it's made of some type of fabric unlike anything I've ever seen here.

One of the best correspondents I had was a German woman who also spoke and wrote in French and English.   So I had a chance to polish my French and German skills. It really was rewarding to write in 3 different languages.

Do you make any of your own cards?    Draw or add designs to stationery?

I hope you keep us up to date on how this works out for you.
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Yes, I really dread it. We moved to Iowa 4 years ago to be close to our daughter's family. These winters are awful. It doesn't help that my husband is a lump and does absolutely nothing. I always get depressed in the fall knowing that winter is on the way.

I don't know about healthy, because I probably drink more in the winter.
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I plan to do everything possible to turn the shorter darker days into a plus. What do I mean by that? Get rid of curtains (keep shades for privacy) and let in as much sunshine and light as possible. Take advantage of the early sunsets by putting "Christmas" lights here and there to add sparkle. I plan to get out for walks every day possible. I plan to use aroma therapy to improve my mood along with other types of self care like lovely hot baths. In terms of social interaction, along with social media or instead of social media, I plan to reach out by telephone to visit friends on a regular basis and embrace the old-fashioned practice of letter writing. I have a couple friends who would probably participate in this. My dad used to manage an elderly housing community and the residents wrote him and each other really delightful letters that are so entertaining and thought provoking that I am considering compiling in a book to share with the world. I know that seasonal affect depression is real and a challenge. I wish you the best.
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GA,

Thanks so much! I never thought of some of the things you mentioned. That’s a plethora of information and deeply appreciated!

Teeth freezing in boots! Wow!

My daughter just bought boots that her friend in Vail told her to buy. They are lace up boots. Y’all are smart!

Barb,

My daughter is in a very walkable area. I love walking everywhere!

I like seeing things with my feet on the ground in motion, rather than my butt sitting behind a steering wheel.

Hahaha My husband was a little upset with me years ago in New York when we were on vacation. If he’s with me, he is walking or hiking.

He wanted to take cabs everywhere. I would lie to him and say the place we were headed to was only a ‘few’ blocks away.

In reality, it was much longer. Hahaha, and he shouldn’t have even complained about walking. We were young, he ran track and he was fit!

One time on a beach walk in Florida he told me, “You know the further we walk, we will have a long walk back.” I told him that he just ruined my walk on the beach! 😂.

Oh, and he never kept up with me on hiking trails in the mountains!

He was a track runner, so why didn’t he enjoy walking as much as I did? I found it odd.

He still has that lean runner’s body. I think that he was entertained by your crazy cab drivers!

Hey, did you ever see that old Neil Simon movie, Barefoot in the Park? I think I was about 12 or so when my aunt took me to see it. I think Jane Fonda and Robert Redford were adorable in that film.

I relate so well to Jane’s character living in that walk up apartment! My husband was always a ground floor kind of guy.

I always rented upstairs apartments and would run up and down all of those stairs! Youth! Hahaha

I did the same thing to my husband in D.C. We walked all over.

So, yeah hiking boots are fantastic!
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Imho, while some people struggle with sadness and depression during the winter, I look forward to the change in seasons.
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BB, do you mind sharing what kind of boots you bought? I've been trying to find something that is suitable for walking, my runners would have been OK if we have a mild winter but they are pretty much dead and my winter boots are warm but I wouldn't want to walk any distance in them.
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Invisible, my primary objection to FB and other social media are the privacy abuses through the use of data gathering and leveraging it for the benefit of FB and the other platforms.
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NeedHelpWithMom, I live in a cold weather climate (during the winter).   Generally the temps only drop to low teens or to single digits during cold spells, which aren't unusual, and rarely below zero although the wind chills do sink to that level.   I'm guessing our Canadian friends here have much colder temps.

One year the temp sunk to -20, so, being young and not too sensible, I decided to prove I could tolerate those frigid temps.   We had a heavy snowfall, about a foot or more, so I shoveled out my walk and driveway, then being confident of my prowess, shoveled my neighbors' walk and driveway as well.  She was pregnant, and her husband wouldn't be home until after dark.   I was pretty impressed with myself for handling all that!   (Of course, common sense was somewhat rare at that age).

As to what to wear, I wore a leotard and tights under a heavy sweatshirt (sometimes two) and heavy sweatpants, covered with dancer's leg warmers over the sweats.    I had insulated socks for my feet, but they didn't always provide the warmth needed.   Insulated mittens (not gloves) were mandatory as well.

Finding good heavy boots wasn't that easy, so sometimes 2 pairs of insulated socks was necessary.    Buy boots that lace up; zippered boots sometimes can't be zipped up if snow gets into the teeth of the zipper and freezes.  

For your visit to Denver, I would bring extra layers of clothing, just in case.  Boots, definitely, preferably with fur type lining, and sometimes a size larger.   Try some on, and bring a few pairs of socks.

I wore windbreakers, lined if I could find them, and obviously with a hood and usually a wool or knitted head covering, plus a long scarf to wrap around my neck and keep my neck and sometimes my  mouth warm.    That was a bit more challenging b/c having a covered mouth interfered with breathing.

Insulated coats are really helpful.   Scarves, yes, to hold a hood closer to your head and break the wind from sneaking into your hood and coat. 

If you can find insulated socks, buy them.    I also buy hunter's socks; they're really, really thick and warm.

I sometimes felt like a winter doughboy after I got all those levels of clothes on.

If you're driving, you'll need to make sure that the oil is appropriate for the colder weather, although if I recall correctly, one of the garages I used to take my car to used an all weather oil so it wasn't necessary to switch seasonally.    
Antifreeze for the expected low temps is critical as well, again, if you're driving.  

I also keep backup blankets in case I'm stranded.  And I have a few space blankets, although I still have doubts about their alleged warmth.  An extra set of clothes (including underwear) is appropriate as well, just in case you were to fall and get wet.  

Other backups for cars:  matches, foldable snow shovel, ice melt, drinking water, non spoilable food and snacks, charger for your phone, and a good old map, even if you have GPS.  

Wherever you're going, leave a plan with family or friends so you can be found in case you're stranded on the way to and from.

Actually, if you think of it as an adventure that you're going to conquer, it might be easier and more pleasant.   And it's not always bad; if you can time your outings for the more milder weather, you won't have to deal with the frigid weather.  Now that I'm older I avoid going out in blizzards and really frigid weather.  Old bodies don't react well to frigid temperatures.  
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We eat oatmeal with fruit every AM. I just bought hiking boots and will continue to walk areound my NYC neighborhood everyday.
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Doberman,

What about rain? If it rains everyday I don’t like it. We get a fair amount of rain here.

Does rain put you in a funk?
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I am curious about those of you in very cold climate. How do you dress to stay warm? Most of you know that at some point we are going to visit our daughter in Denver.

I hate the cold. Do you layer? Do you need boots? What kind of coat? Scarves? Hats? I don’t even wear socks here. My daughter is buying wool socks! I have never owned wool socks, only cotton.

Many years ago I went to Colorado in the spring. We had a freak snow blizzard. I was freezing even with a warm sweater, jacket, hat, gloves and boots.

Is there a certain kind of boots that you wear?
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GA,

My grandmother was one of my favorite people in the whole wide world!

I absolutely cherish the hand written recipes that she wrote out for me. I cherish them even though I know the recipe by heart at this point.

It just makes me feel good to have something of hers. She lived simply in a small wood frame shotgun house. It was on a narrow city lot but it was deep. Grandpa did have a beautiful flower garden in the front and a vegetable garden in the back.

Mom didn’t keep much. We didn’t have the room to store it. My mom is a perfectionist. Everything had to be tidy. She did not a lot of extra stuff around.

She donated or gave away everything. What I wouldn’t give to have her old cast iron pot. Mom gave it to my nephew.

Those recipes and my memories are all I have of grandma. The few things mom did keep was destroyed in Hurricane Katrina.

I don’t get sad when I see them. I smile. I feel a strong connection to her when I see them. Is that silly? I don’t know.

Grandma was fortunate to remain healthy. She just dropped dead. No suffering. She died exactly as she wanted to go. We should all be so lucky, right?

I don’t have the sad memories of sickness or anything like that. I do have funny stories, great cooking lessons and so much love! She enhanced my life so much. She brought balance to my world. I adored her.

I am not a grandmother. If I ever am I hope that I can be the same as she was with me.

I know what you’re saying though. If times had been tough, things hold sad memories.
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In defense of FB, it is a very good tool for communicating real-time between members of a group with a mission, such as animal rescue. If you don't respond to postings - such as liking or disliking - you won't continue to get them.
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You should be able to do the same as always just social distancing.
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Resist the temptation to read articles on Depression.

I live in a state where Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is an accepted part of life. This year winter seems to be coming early, which I guess isn't surprising for 2020. Today my pets are behaving badly as they are bored.

I think any way you can change up your routine is good. Embrace a new hobby, get fit, start AND finish a project, call up an old friend, try a new recipe - and take some to someone you know who doesn't cook anymore, finally get rid of those things you have laying around the house that you don't really like or use, put up a bird feeder, actually play with your pets (if you don't have pets, offer to walk a neighbor's dog for them), write a letter to your representatives telling them what you want from them, plan a dream vacation that you can take someday. Just some things to make you feel back in control and hopeful for the future. At least you don't have to mow the lawn.
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I don't wish to get into a challenge contest on the issue of SAD, but I think that it's realistic to understand that sometimes winter confinement can be a contributing factor, notwithstanding vitamin issues.    For those who can't get out, it's like being trapped, and isolated.    And yet there are others who love the winter and hit the slopes or trails that are still navigable.    

There are realities though to the fatigue of clearing snow, especially with multiple inch snowfalls on a regular basis.   You just get tired of it.   Just as people get tired of the summer heat, especially the extensive heat this year.

One of the best ways to address this outside of the vitamin issue is by starting plants inside, to get a head start on your gardening.    Some folks I know have literally professional setups in their basements.  My mother used a room with good sunlight.  She had a flora cart, started her impatiens, tomatoes and peppers.    I'm sure other gardeners here do that already.

Just seeing the little sprouts peeking out from the soil and growing almost daily was definitely enough to chase away winter blues.

For me, a good baking season also had a positive effect.  The fragrance of home made bread, homemade butter, and an afternoon bake session was always a respite from inclement weather.
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I love fall and winter even though I suffer from seasonal affective disorder...I love cool weather and snow!! I have two constant companions in my dogs and they keep great company and keep me active!! I love the Holidays and family coming over and I always try to get out no matter the weather!! I keep busy and trudge on through, by the time winter is here spring is around the corner!!!
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Igloo,

I love it! Hahaha, Very cute!

Sportsman’s Paradise! Yeah, the camo is a dead giveaway!

One time we stopped at Bass Pro Shop in Denham Springs. We were on the way to LSU. Tons of camo in there! Fishing gear galore, a shooting range for target practice! Hahaha, we got lunch there.

Eh, the stereotyping isn’t always portrayed accurately in the movies or television. Hahaha. Not for New Orleans.

My nephew works in the film industry and asked me if I wanted to see NCIS New Orleans being filmed.

I asked him if I should. He told me, “Nah, it’s not really a good portrayal of New Orleans.”

Every now and then when I am somewhere outside of New Orleans I am asked about alligators and crazy stuff. It’s funny how we have to explain that we don’t have alligators in everyone’s backyard!

So good to have another NOLA gal on this site! I was telling someone on the forum yesterday about Brocato’s. An oldie but goodie in our city. My mom went there as a child!

If I am up late at night I listen to Coast to Coast with Noory on the radio. He has interviewed some of our voodoo practitioners. Love his show! It’s always interesting. He had a musician on one time that loved Dr. John. I miss him. Had seen him since high school.
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NeedHelpWithMom, I sympathize with you on working with your grandmother's recipes.   I'm going through that as well.   Some of the recipe books I have are from my mother's.   There are also a lot of index cards on which she made notes.  

It's always emotional to see those cards; so many memories are brought back.   

It's the same with anything on which my parents and sister wrote - birthday cards, holiday cards...they all bring back such intense memories as well as the last 3 Christmases, which were all hospital Christmases.    No cards for these, just the sad memories.
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Whatever anyone may wis to call it and or define it, seasonal affective disorder can be avoided by avoiding a deficiency of vitaminD. Many other nervous system disorders are also caused by deficiencies. B12 deficieiencies cause a lot of problems especially in the elderly.Often so called meds cause deficiencies by interfering with the processing of nutrients in the body.Statins have caused a lot of nutrition related problems in recent years.
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Tothill, that's very generous and thoughtful of you to be a companion to your friend as she faces a possible cancer diagnosis.
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For the seamstresses, quilters, crocheters or knitters:   there may be local groups creating goods for delivery to charities.   Honor Quilts makes quilts for military; I've found a group close to me.   

https://www.quiltsofhonor.org/

I understand that ICUs for newborns need crocheted caps for babies.   

I always make so many plans I can't accomplish them and feel dissatisfied with myself when spring comes.   One of my first Fall plans is to cut down the junk trees, save the good trunks and branches that are thick enough for posts, and start making wattle fences to enclose raised beds, a procrastinated concession to old age and a sensitive back.   It's a method though of continuing to garden, which I'm not ready to give up.  

My arborvitaes are also loaded with little cones, ready for picking and making into wreaths.     The grapevines are ready to harvest, so they'll be the base for the cones.    But I need to get them before a freezer or they'll be too stiff.

What I haven't figured out is where I'm going to put the wreaths; I already  have a few dozen in the house, and selling isn't that good of an option this year.   Oh, wait - there's the garage!   I can cover both sides with wreaths!
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I live alone, so my household bubble is just me. But I have made the decision to have contact with 5 other people, my son, my grandson, my Mum and 2 good friends (one weekly one every 2-3 months).

One friend has just had a biopsy for possible breast cancer. She cannot go through this alone and I will be her person for appointments and support. Taking the risk of exposure as she attends multiple appointments is less than the hit to her mental health to not have someone to hold her hand, give her a hug or change her bandages (she tends to faint).

I am studying for a professional course and have weekly zoom meetings. I also have 2x a month study sessions online with a friend in the same program.

Several of us watch a movie, apart 1-2 times a month. We each choose 2-3 that are available on streaming services that we have, then on the night choose one to watch. We try to start at the same time and text each other at various points in the show.

I found that Omega 3/6 fatty acids help me a lot of SAD. I generally eat a lot of salmon through the winter as I react to fish oil capsules.
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Jacklynn,

Your post made me tear up. Cherish those memories. Your life sounds amazing!

There is something so precious about things that are hand written. Notes, letters, diaries, etc. they are the best!

I have recipes written by my grandmother and every time I make them, I remember her. Seeing her handwriting is intensely personal for me. It’s a connection.

Please don’t ever get rid of your memories. Pass them down.

I am doing our family tree. What a treat it would be to have your hand written calendars if you were in my family or my husband’s family.
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