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    Just a snippet of what’s waiting to be painted right now…

    Whew!  Alright, SERIOUSLY, how is everyone feeling today?  I’ve been battling the royal headache that is Seasonal Affective Disorder now since Friday and I think I’ve finally got a grip on it.  The sad part is, it took a while to even recognize what was going on.  I was going through the day, not feeling sick or anything even, but with NO drive to do any of the things I’m normally so excited about I can actually lose sleep over them at night.  Frank was the one to finally point it out. After dismissing him as crazy and living in denial for two more days, by Monday evening it had hit home.  And I was able to attack it.

    My newly discovered list of ideas for beating Seasonal Affective Disorder:

    1. Bake.  I was on the bus home shivering inside my puffy down jacket thinking about how much I didn’t want to go do a workout but rather to wallow in coziness with a hot cup of tea and something sweet – and the answer was born.  Make myself a little treat!  Within moments of getting home, dropping layers of outerwear and donning my coziest (read ugly) slippers, I had the scent of marshmallows and vanilla warming up my kitchen while the kettle was on beside me ready to steep a steaming cup of tea.  Instant soothing.

    2. Music.  I’ll admit it.  Not even the end of November, but I threw common sense to the wind…and put on Christmas music.  By the time Frank got home from his afternoon meeting, I was pouring my tea and belting out Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want for Christmas’.  And shakin’ like a polaroid picture.  Embrace it!  Music is something I don’t take advantage of enough.  I was reading through a book I was given for my birthday recently on new icons in fashion illustration, and one regular question asked of these artists was ‘do you listen to music while you work?’  I actually…usually don’t.  I may start with something, but the tracks on iTunes will run out and I’m so engrosssed in what I’m doing that I don’t even realize I’m working in silence.  I’ve thought a few times I should start painting to news radio in Portuguese to see if the language would start to sink in, but I think music is where it’s at.

    3. Decorate!  Maybe not always seasonally appropriate….although I’m sure by now there really are decorations out there for every season, especially the cold half of the year.  Christmas is over?  Try red for Valentine’s!  Green for St. Patty’s!  And on the list goes.  But ultimately last night I ended up hauling out a few Christmas decorations, which did get me thinking – all of them are actually hand me downs from my mother.  I might start making some decorations of my own this year.

    4. Sweat.  In all honesty, once I’d gotten myself moving around the house, warmed the blood and soothed my chills with tea and treats, I acknowledged that I didn’t want to end up missing a capoeira class with my close friends – especially seeing as we were all together to watch the GSP fight on Saturday night (anyone??) and there was still much to be discussed regarding that win.  What are your thoughts?  I’m sentimental, I like GSP and I was rooting for him…but I don’t think it should have gone to him.  Although I hear there’s video of Henderson somewhat tapping circling the internets, so maybe I need to reassess.

    5. Quick color.  The nights I don’t want to work out  are the nights I need it most, and inevitably by the time I’ve started to cool down, my creative juices start to flow again.  I came home from class knowing I just had to do something with my hands.  I didn’t try to start or finish a new piece, just grabbed a finished sketch from the small pile slowly amassing on my side table and set about putting paint to paper.  It’s so soothing seeing something come to life like that.

    There you be!  My short list of coping with being…SAD.  Ultimately, it boiled down to a small indulgent treat and then moving back into taking pleasure from the things that move you.  How about you?  What are your coping mechanisms for Seasonal Affective Disorder?



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