In 1984, I moved to South Florida from the Keystone State, Pennsylvania. Five years later, after graduating from college, getting married and having our first child, I and my newly formed family moved to South Georgia, where we have lived for the last 22 years.
I’ve actually lived more than half of my life in the South. Now, I know this fact does not make me a “good ol’ boy,” but I’d like to think that my time here has helped me understand the finer qualities of Southern living: great food, charming hospitality and wonderful weather.
Whoa there. Maybe we should look a little closer at that last item.
Earlier this week, The Weather Channel announced a freeze warning for our area. Sure enough, the predicted low was only 1 degree higher than the overnight temperature in Philadelphia. Say what?
It’s almost April, and I don’t care what Punxsutawney Phil said — it’s time for some warmer weather. Spring should have sprung by now.
I noticed Macy’s is having a “Welcome Spring” sale this week, and it appears they forgot to tell Mother Nature. I know it sounds like I’m complaining — and I am. Even Bryan County, Okla., has better weather than we do right now.
But no doubt, we all are thankful that we don’t live somewhere like Rochester, N.Y. Yikes! All that snow would make me very SAD.
Years ago I wrote an article about being S.A.D., the acronym for seasonal affective disorder. Some people call it the “winter blues,” but S.A.D. is real for many folks. It is estimated that as many as 15 million Americans have some form of weather-related depression. Most cases are associated with the long winter months, extended periods of cold weather and shorter daylight hours related to this time of year.
In fact, one of the recommended treatments for S.A.D. is light therapy or phototherapy. Other treatment regimens include participating in a regular exercise routine and eating a balanced diet. Antidepressant medications also may be prescribed when needed.
According to the National Institutes for Health, S.A.D. is more likely to affect women and people who live in Northern areas of the world. Elderly people also are at a higher risk of S.A.D. attacks.
In addition, seniors need to pay special attention to deficiencies in vitamin D, especially during the fall and winter. Vitamin D plays an important role in bone health, cancer prevention and the prevention of diabetes and incontinence. Eating foods that have high levels of, or are fortified with, vitamin D (fish, cereals, dairy products, eggs and mushrooms) is the safest approach to reduce or prevent a D-deficit.
Personally, I think a good dose of Tahiti would benefit me greatly. I’m pretty sure I could get enough vitamin D from the sun to wipe away any and all blues I might be feeling due to the lousy weather we have been experiencing.
If you’ve been feeling down and depressed during this long winter, have had little energy, experienced mood swings or maybe have withdrawn from family and friends, get some help. See your physician and ask about seasonal affective disorder. There may be a simple solution to what you are feeling.
And if your doctor prescribes a trip to Bora Bora, tell him you would like an extra ticket for your friend, Rich.
DeLong is the executive director of The Suites at Station Exchange.Call him at 912-531-7867 or go to thesuitesatstationexchange.com.