AT RANDOM: Beating the winter blahs

It usually hits around this time of year, where my mood sits at the downswing of the yo-yo known as life.

Kristin Froneman is a columnist and arts editor with The Morning Star.

Kristin Froneman is a columnist and arts editor with The Morning Star.

It usually hits around this time of year, where my mood sits at the downswing of the yo-yo known as life.

Call it seasonal affective disorder or just a plain dislike of grey skies, slushy roads and February, this ennui is about as much fun as re-reading the entire Whiteness of the Whale chapter in Moby Dick.

Actually, you’d think that reading a book or binge-watching some lauded movie or TV show would be good to get out of a particular funk. However, my selections as of late have not exactly been that cheery…

The Outlander by Canadian author Gil Adamson, although a fascinating and well-written story, tells the tale of a young woman on the lam who ends up hiding in the Rockies trying to escape her two burly brother in-laws after she commits a crime. She ends up in Frank, Alta. in 1903 and, well, just look up what happened there during that time.

To escape that horrific event, I decide to slide into a new series based on the  Archie comics, which I loved as a child and my daughter now reads with the voraciousness of Veronica Lodge herself.

Riverdale was once a happy place until Netflix got a hold of it.

Archie now has a six-pack and a very big secret, while dear, sweet Betty is being bullied by her creepy… wait for it… mother. And don’t get me started on Jughead. Gone is the hamburger loving jokester, now replaced by an emo kid who has been suspiciously abandoned by his best friend and everyone else for that matter.

With my mental neurotransmitters now at static, I have recently turned to a few non-narcotic mood stabilizers.

One of them is grapefruit. Yes, I’ve been scarfing down that bittersweet citrus fruit not only for breakfast, but for lunch, mixing it with dark, leafy greens for an extra iron boost. According to medical professionals, the vitamin C helps you absorb the iron, which in turn is helpful in the production of serotonin and dopamine – you know the things that make you happy.

While I’m on that natural high, I have another escape and that is to get beyond the clouds. We British Columbians are darn lucky to have so many mountains around us and I find a trip up to Silver Star or some other peak to be a beacon of light. It’s recommended to bring skis or snowshoes to get those endorphins released and then stretch it out after with a few yoga poses. Or just breathe in all that beauty.

I also highly recommend taking up an instrument or a workshop of some sort.

I recently started playing my guitar again and thanks to my teacher Matt, I have been stretching my fingers, and brain, to play a whole set-list of tunes. Now I just have to get over stage fright. To do that, I have also taken up workshopping and writing poetry and then reading it – out loud. You can’t pay for better therapy than spilling out all the thoughts that have been cobwebbed in your mind for years and unleashing them on whomever will listen.

So on those few upbeat notes, it may not be all sunshine and roses this time of year, but at least there’s some relief. And remember, spring is just around the corner.

 

Vernon Morning Star

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