January Blues

Yes, SAD is real and it peaks on the Third Monday in January every year. This year is Monday, January 16, 2023. SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder first described in 1984 through a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

SAD actually begins in the Fall, when the daily Sunlight is noticeably shorter and continues to decrease through the Winter Equinox in December. Even with the slow increase of Daylight, SAD continues into the Spring until the Daylight increase is noticeable. People experience more moodiness and general malaise, often so subtly that it is dismissed as something that needs a conscious and deliberate protocol to minimize its effects.

Of course, the standard suggestions are exercise and getting more Vitamin D through Sunlight. Even 15 minutes a day can be of great benefit. Artificial Sunlight bulbs are of help as well – think Gro-lights for indoor plants or seedlings. There are also many Light Therapy Lamps available by searching online.

Other forms of self-help SAD therapy involve planned activities, either in scheduled events or self projects that have been lined up for this time period. Projects that involve long periods of time indoors and great concentration are the most beneficial. A Jigsaw Puzzle can be solitary or a group activity. Building projects that involve both your Mind and some physical efforts are also great. It appears that making the most of this time period by focussing your mind into physical or mental activities helps turn a negative into a positive.

I feel certain any activity that results in a Good Feeling about getting something, ANYTHING, accomplished during this time – sorting and organizing stones, waxes, designs for me – is a positive step forward to overcoming the SAD(ness) of January. This is also a great time to go through jewelry and devise a plan to update or redesign into new pieces!!!!

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