I would say that, all in all, I don’t feel too bad for this most depressing day of the year. Maybe if I lived in the fog and gray skies of Britain rather than sunshine-filled Colorado, the story would be different:
Dr. Cliff Arnall’s calculations show that misery peaks Monday.
Arnall, who specializes in seasonal disorders at the University of Cardiff, Wales, created a formula that takes into account numerous feelings to devise peoples’ lowest point.
The model is: [W + (D-d)] x TQ
M x NA
The equation is broken down into seven variables: (W) weather, (D) debt, (d) monthly salary, (T) time since Christmas, (Q) time since failed quit attempt, (M) low motivational levels and (NA) the need to take action.
That W seems to be quite a significant variable in this equation. I would agree. It took me a long time to realize what Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) was – that long periods of time without sunshine had an adverse effect on my outlook and emotional well-being. Explaining the January downtime took into account other factors. The light of later experience showed those factors weren’t as significant.
Now, of course, there are a lot of different causes of depression – whether physiological, emotional, or even spiritual. And the treatments for each are not necessarily the same. But I’m living proof that it can’t hurt to seek out a little more sunshine. (For those fair-skinned as I, don’t forget to apply a little sunscreen along the way.)
SAD wasn’t my primary motivation for abandoning my native Michigan and moving west to sunny Colorado. But it sure didn’t hurt, either. Just one more reason to smile on this January 24: something besides the weather will have to get me down.
Kind of makes me wonder how I keep my sanity working in this white-walled office on this floor without windows… at least we have a few skylights. Thankfully!
Hat tip: Thanks to LaShawn and Marvin for pointing me to the MSNBC article.
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