Stupid Depression Tricks: Sunlight

Nov 14th, 2012 by Nicholas Pell in Personal

The clocks fall back. All of sudden, getting out of bed is a lot harder. My hands shake in the morning. The fog of sleep has nothing on the crushing weight of early morning depression.

I’d never been able to put it together before, but winters are hard on me and it all begins with the end of daylight savings. An hour less sunlight per day, and the lack of vitamin D adds up quickly. So what’s a person with a manageable mental illness to do?

Get out. For any reason or no reason at all. I’ve taken to hiking Runyon Canyon. My body loves the exercise, my brain loves the sunshine and my heart loves the view of Los Angeles from on high. “On a clear day you can see forever,” as the man says and on a clear day I can see clear to the ocean. Today the plan is to take Lulu on the Bataan Death March around Hollywood for the mere sake of soaking up some sun.

If you’re unfortunate enough to leave in the permafrost of New England, go for a drive, go for a walk at the mall, get out of your place and go somewhere with a lot of natural light.

Reflecting back on my younger years, it’s sort of amazing to me that no one ever put the sunlight issue together for me. Nearly all my memories of what one might call “crippling” depression are in months that are known for being cold, yes, but also known for a critical lack of sunlight. I’m not sure that I can ever live somewhere that isn’t getting a lot of bright white light ever again.

The simplest things can be the hardest when you’re suffering from depression. Eating right. Getting out of the house. Exercising. Remembering to take your vitamins (or medication as the case might be).¬†And on that note, it’s time to put on pants and strut down Hollywood Boulevard with my pig dog.

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