Friday, September 14, 2012

Shopping Cure

Do you ever feel like this?

For days now my brain has not been functioning properly and my moods are lethal. If anyone looks at me so much as sideways I am bound to snap their head off.  I don’t know if it is menopause, quitting smoking or just an accumulation of being fed up all the time. It is also that time of year when cold replaces warm and darkness slowly strangles light. If your temperament suffers from light sickness as mine does, living in a winter dark country such as Norway is challenging. We have the midnight sun during summer, but winter is just as dark as the summer is light.

To make matters worse, October is just around the corner. My birthday and the birthday of my two children in the states are approaching fast.  Unlike last year I will not be able to spend this time with them. If you have children that live very far away then you know how difficult birthdays and holidays can be. Slapping myself in the face, I need to fight this brain malfunction and diffuse this mood bomb before I hit the self-destruct button and end up blowing myself to pieces. Shopping helps, especially when you get to shop for presents! I love giving presents, but figuring out what to give is challenging when you have to deal with the International postal service. Ewww…Most times it costs more to send the package than what is inside! Well this year I have gotten tricky and have ordered something over the internet which is going to be shipped directly to them, I have also discovered Blurb. I cannot tell you what I have done with that discovery because I never know when one of these children decides to take a peek at my blog. Internet has truly made the world one big shopping center!

So now that my shopping has made me feel a bit better, it is time to be creative and design a happy meal for the family that has had to put up with me these past few days.
How do you deal with depression, does shopping help? Have you checked out Blub or have any other great ideas for gift shopping the international way? Have a great week-end and come back on Monday for some of my favorite things.


Sylvia van Bruggen said...

Shopping definitely helps, and also playing with something I love to play with, and making art and depressing poems :)

Siv Maria said...

Sylvia-Making anything helps with depression but usually when I write depressing poetry it only makes me more depressed, lol!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sorry you're feeling down. I find downloading a new album makes me feel better.

Sloane Taylor said...

Hope your shopping spree has long lasting effects.:) Writing and cooking do the trick to lift me from the doldrums. Thanks for the Blurb link!

Julie said...

Sorry you're feeling down, but glad the shopping helped. I've never heard of Blurb but now you have me curious. Just what I need, another Internet shopping addiction! :)

I totally love the pic at the top of the post. I have definitely felt like that, more often than I care to admit LOL.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is no "laughing" matter. But there are some ways to fight off the sorcerous spell of dark winters.

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a form of depression that affects 25 million Americans, mostly women. Much research has been done on this mysterious disorder.

In somewhat of a simplification, the lack of light in wintertime can result in lower levels of serotonin,

the mood-enhancing chemical that regulates hunger and the feeling of well-being.

Serotonin production increases with light, meaning that gray gloom creeping in the window is not kicking the production of feel-good chemicals into action.

Some symptoms include depression, marathon napping, low self-esteem, obsessiveness over little things, irritability, shyness, and panic attacks.

People with seasonal affective disorder may also sleep poorly (although for many hours), partly because they don't have enough serotonin to convert to the sleep substance melatonin.

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and people generally recover completely around April or May - once the days become longer.

Treatment includes light therapy and/or medications. However, there are things you can do yourself that can help boost serotonin levels.

3 Ways to Boot up Your Serotonin

Julia Ross, MA, is director of the Recovery Systems Clinic in San Francisco and author of The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure. She tells WebMD there are three ways to jump-start your serotonin:

Subject yourself to bright indoor light. This is the touchstone of seasonal affective disorder treatment. Many pricey lights are available.

Ross says a 300 watt bulb within three feet for 20 minutes three times a day can help, although the boost in serotonin may be temporary.


This is very hard to do when caught up in the seasonal affective disorder cycle. But if you can force yourself to start, 15 to 20 minutes of dancing to the radio or fast walking can reduce a sweet tooth and improve mood.

Eat wisely. This means, pushing away the leftover cake and eating sensible carbs to stimulate serotonin. Sweets and simple carbs, like white rice and white bread, quickly raise blood sugar, flood you with insulin, and then drop you in a hole.

Eating wisely also means watching the caffeine, which suppresses serotonin. "If you must drink coffee, save it for after the meal," Ross says.

I hope this helps in some small way, Roland

Melissa Bradley said...

Roalnd left some really great advice. I, alas, suffer from the summer version of this. I get really irritable and depressed when the weather starts to warm up and I know that dreaded summer is around the corner. I literally light up when the cold weather comes and I know I'll only have to put up with the sun for minimal amount of time. Love me the freezing November rains, too. I have a moon rising in my horoscope and being born in December under the Lakota sign for the long snows probably goes a long way toward my feelings. Hugs from me to you as you fight off S.A.D.

Melissa Bradley said...

Almost forgot. Chocolate, my favorite movies and great books help me alot when I am depressed.

Paige Kellerman said...

That doesn't sound like my cup of tea either. I need sunlight, and winter always bums me out a little. Anything darker than Kansas in wintertime would be hard for me too.
Looking forward to some tales about Norse Gods though...:)

Lynn Proctor said...

yes--many years ago i realized that shopping helped my depression :)

Suzanne Furness said...

Retail therapy is always good for a lift. We have used Blurb to make some family books after weddings or special holidays they are really great and make excellent personal gifts. Hope you're feeling brighter soon.

Anonymous said...

I totally get this mood and shopping does help a bit. My challenge is to stay out of my bed. When I get depressed the first thing I want to do is sleep and once in my bed it's difficult to get out. I can only imagine how difficult it must be for you to have children so far away. One of my children lives 4 hours away and I struggle with that.. I hope you're feeling better very soon.

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lizy-expat-writer said...

SAD is a horrible thing to suffer from, and someone else has already covered all the points - buy a daylight lamp. I would also recommend a damn good laugh, so get a DVD of your favourite comedian.
And retail therapy is good too!
Chin up, girl. :D

Patricia Stoltey said...

If I get the blahs, I find that a good book or a movie can lift me up in a hurry. I'm not sure how I'd handle real depression though, other than head for the doctor's office for help. Shopping is not my thing...except maybe for things made of chocolate. :D

Mina Lobo said...

Menopause AND quitting smoking? Ouch! Good luck dealing with both!

In the States there's an antidepressant whose generic name is Bupropion - a version of it (brand name Zyban) is used to help folks quit smoking. Maybe something like that's available in Norway?
Some Dark Romantic