Give the gift of winter blues prevention
Plus: Meet the Midster who works for an indie record label and is undergoing a social renaissance.
Warning: winter blues ahead
21 gifts and self-care ideas to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
By Gretchen Kalwinski
Winter is almost here. ‘Tis the season of shorter days, longer nights, and, if you live in a northern climate, six months of dirty snow and grey skies.
For those of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka “Winter Blues,” a type of depression that revolves around recurrent seasonal patterns), the winter months can include a disconnected, depressed mood, low energy, weight gain, overeating and craving carbohydrates, sleeping much more than usual, lack of focus, and other mood changes.
After many years spent learning to survive (even thrive) during the winter months, I’ve learned that it’s most important for my SAD-affected self to: move/exercise, get extra Vitamin D, catch some rays, connect with others, and stay engaged with my senses and body. In general, I try to maintain a sense of well-being and coziness.
Here are some go-to SAD-combatting options for the winter-blues sufferers on your gift list.
A Verilux desk lamp that I use to bask in fake-sunlight over my morning coffee.
Kneipp Mineral Bath Salts in Deep Breathe include pin and fir, so they can lay back and pretend they’re forest bathing. Buy on Amazon
Peloton stationery bikes took off during the pandemic and there’s no denying that their leaderboard feature is amazing for making users feel like they’re part of a community class. I opted for the cheaper Sunny bike (also with a magnetic belt drive) and used the Peloton app. Same fun variety of classes, but I saved about a grand. Buy on Amazon
Meet Sonya Kolowrat, the indie record label leader enjoying giving less f---s
Hi! I’m Sonya Kolowrat. I’m 52 and live in Los Angeles with my family. I’ve also lived in New York, Boston, and Victoria, B.C., Canada, where I grew up.
I work in the music business at an independent record label. I volunteer for the Los Angeles Conservancy, which I do because I love preservation and old buildings. Occasionally I teach a course on the music industry at my alma mater, the Berklee College Of Music. I love music and I see a lot of concerts, ideally with friends.
I’m in the midst of:
A social renaissance
I’ve found some friends who like to do a lot of the same stuff as me, and I have really enjoyed keeping busy. There’s a lot to see and do out there in the world!
Taking charge of my health
After a full hysterectomy a couple of years ago due to endometriosis, I have finally begun the process of taking charge of my health, both physically and mentally.
Turning my hobby into action
I’ve been documenting a lot of the vintage terrazzo in the Los Angeles area, much of it on downtown sidewalks and my next step is to try to work with the city to ensure that it can be maintained and preserved.
I’m Carrie O’Neal Brenner, graphic designer, owner of Scripted in Hamilton, Ohio, and The Midst Creative Director!
As a 48-year-old mom with two kids in their 20s, my main hope for the holidays is to spend time relaxing with my kids! The older I get, I recognize what a precious gift “time” really is…both with my parents and my children.
I’m also hoping that Santa brings me a few items from my wish list. My best friend @terricallaphotography got me hooked on the "The Routine" line of products from @oakessentials. I’m VERY, VERY basic when it comes to skincare, but these products make my skin feel so good that I’ve quickly become addicted! I’d also love a nice laptop desk for when I’m working from bed late at night with my hubby.
And, of course, a few unexpected surprises to remind me that my friends and family really “understand me”...like these “My Bladder Owns Me” socks! 🤷🏻♀️
Stay tuned: We'll post more Midst Gifts to Give + Get in the coming weeks. Follow along on The Midst Instagram.
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Thanks for reading The Midst Weekly, sent to you on Midst Mondays. :)