April 2, 2014

S.A.D. Sisters. ~ Dara McKinley


I live in Seattle, the land of Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D.), and I have it.

Last summer, in order to recover from a severe bout of adrenal fatigue (yep, I have that, too), I moved to a warm and dry climate and ate super healthy food. After a month of warm weather and clean eating, I experienced a vitality that I hadn’t felt since I moved to Seattle 11 years prior. For the first time in a very long time, everything was doable and easy.

I returned to Seattle with the hope that if I kept up the healthy eating regimen I would be okay. But come the third week in October, the cold, dark, damp of the Pacific Northwest tackled me. My thoughts became foggy, my energy disappeared, and I felt constantly cold. It was nothing compared to healing from adrenal burnout, but it still sucked.

Now that spring has arrived, I am slowly recovering and have a change of residence in the works (thank you, goddess). But I know a lot of sisters who experience S.A.D. and are in no position to move. Since I specialize in women’s emotional health, the following is for all the ladies who struggle with the winter blues.

The conventional medical treatments for S.A.D. are:

• Antidepressants

If you are open to them and can handle them, they work well.

• Light therapy

This helps also, but not as well as real rays. Plus, I find sitting in front of a lightbulb while its pouring rain outside, pretty depressing also.

The Pacific Northwest’s cultural solution is:

• Caffeine and sugar

Evidenced by the preponderance of coffee shops all over Seattle. Again, effective but not very healthy.

For those of us into natural and healthy remedies:

• Exercise

This works great and whenever I wonder how in the world I spent twelve years of my life with S.A.D., I can blame teaching dance fitness three times a week for the first 10 years.

And there is one more natural remedy that I want to officially put on the table:

• Oxytocin

This is the hormone that is produced when we feel truly connected to others.

You can google oxytocin and read about it’s many awesome sources and effects, but from the divine feminine perspective, the source of Oxytocin I want to bring to awareness is the hit we get from being truly seen.

I call being seen “Vitamin See” because it’s an essential nutrient to humanity’s health.

This is a no-brainer for some and a major-brainer for many. Too many, in my opinion. Thus, getting Vitamin See back on the pedestal is one of my missions in life.

Vitamin See is one of the huge reasons you choose and love your close girlfriends. The chemistry between you and these women is dosing you with oxytocin. It feels awesome and the positive effects are enduring and natural.

So for all you S.A.D. sisters, put this one in your coping basket and get with people who fill your Vitamin See tank. I know when you are in the S.A.D. hole it can be hard to come out, but make the call, the date and/or the visit happen.

It will help you whistle a happy tune for days after.


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Dara McKinley