Health

There comes a point in every Winter, when I begin to feel the promise of the coming Spring. Now, you might say, “Well sure, we all do.” For me, however, it is for a different reason than most that I long for Spring. I have SAD, which is Seasonal Affective Disorder, and while this is not a fatal or even really a debilitating disorder, its effects on me are very real. During the Winter months as the days get shorter, the fact that we get up when it is dark and get off work when it is dark, makes me feel very tired. Then, one day in January, I step outside the door after work, and it just occurs to me that I’m not leaving work in the dark, or even almost dark. It is like a weight is lifted off of me.

I have a fairly mild form of SAD. Some people can hardly function during the darker months. For me it is just a matter of feeling tired and well, dragged out, but no matter how badly a person is affected, it makes the winter dark months difficult to say the very least. Then add to it the Wyoming Winter wind and cold, and I start feeling antsy, on top of feeling fatigued.

There are some things that have helped people who suffer from SAD. Light therapy is a good solution. The best lighting is full spectrim light bulbs, because it mimicks actual sunlight. A lot of people who live in Alaska can have a severe form of SAD, and light therapy was tested on those people with good results. I have tried light therapy and it has helped, but it is difficult to spend enough time in proper lighting when you work. So I wait and look forward to the day in January that brings with it the promise of the coming Spring. Knowing that soon I will feel better again.

Stress…a dirty word in every day life, and a very real health concern for many people today. Our lives are so busy, and often we don’t have any real control over our day or what happens in it. So how do we avoid stress?

One way to avoid stress to do work as it comes along as much as possible. Procrastination brings stress, because at some point you run out of time and that usually happens with many projects at the same time. When you have people calling to see if their project is finished, your blood pressure starts to rise. Before you know it you have a headache and a neck ache. Doing the job as soon as it is given whenever possible eliminates this problem, and gives you more time to do it correctly, since most mistakes are made when we rush through things.

Another way to avoid stress is to watch what you volunteer for. All too often we over-extend ourselves because we hate to say, “No.” There is nothing wrong with volunteering, but you can’t be 10 places at once. Pick your volunteer work carefully, whether it is for a charity or family. Having your priorities straight will lower your stress levels.

Exercise is a very important stress reducer. You don’t have to join a gym or do calisthenics either. Go for a walk, especially if you can get outside. Just getting closer to nature has a way of bring peace to your mind, and that is definately a stress reducer. Not everyone likes the same type of exercise, and if you haven’t exercised in a long time, I recommend that you try several different types, start slowly, and of course, check with your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise. I find that exercise is a great stress reducer and a great way to look better too.

And the final stress reducer I’m going to talk about is getting enough sleep. When you are tired, your mind can’t cope with everyday obligations as well. Adults should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep daily to look and feel their best, so make sure you get your daily zzz’s.

And there you have it. My best stress reducers for the person living in today’s busy world. I hope this new year is a great one for all of you.

We all go through events and times in our lives when we really notice how painful life can be. It’s part of being human. God didn’t promise us there would never be hard times, He just said He would never leave us or forsake us. The one thing we must always remember is that each person deals with pain, loss, hurt feelings, and every other difficult life event differently. Sometimes we try to decide for them how they should be dealing with difficult times, but that only makes them feel more stressed out about their feelings. Each of life’s painful experiences is dealt with by a type of grief process, and that process is as unique as the human being that is going through the event. Some people might cry, while others might get angry. Some people might turn inward, while others might yell or even laugh at things that aren’t that funny. The main thing to remember is that they are going through something that hurts, and if you love them, you will be understanding of their feelings at a very difficult time. You may need to allow them some space, or they might need a hug, and they will definately need your prayers. This difficult time will pass, or at least get easier to bear, and when they are feeling better they will be grateful for your kindness and understanding. Your friend or loved one is in a vunerable situation right now, and the things you do can either help or hinder the healing process. Life hurts sometimes, but we have the ability to show love, and that love can make all the difference.