COPING WITH WENATCHEE WASHINGTON WINTER WEATHER

I’m not a fan of the cold, icy, snowy, weather. Normally I don’t dress appropriately for the winter season. In fact, a co-worker once said, “Even when it’s 10 below, Mav3rick dresses as if he’s in a Disney teen beach movie.” I haven’t worn long pants since January 3, 2019, and that was only because I HAD to wear a suit for a wedding fair in Missoula, Montana. 

When I first moved to the PNW from my home on beaches of Southern California, My friends back home were deeply concerned when I accepted a job in Oregon. “How are YOU gonna survive the dreary sky in Eugene?” 

Even as a little fella, I heard that the weather in places like Seattle can be depressing. But I thought it was just a myth to prevent people from packing up the U-Haul and moving to the Emerald City and get drunk on the best damn coffee on the planet. It did not take long for me to find out how wrong I was. In fact during that move, while I was driving up the 5 enjoying the warmth and sunshine, I was approaching Mt. Shasta. Off in the distance there was literally a wall of….yuck. I entered the gate of haze, rolling up the window, as the temperature had dropped 20 degrees. A few months after moving to Eugene, I started to see a therapist. 

But I’ve learned a few tricks to help cope during the gloom and doom of the sunless days of winter. 

SAD THERAPY LAMP: I just bought one of these, and it was long over due. I’ve got friends who swear by them, so I finally got one. SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Though these lamps are not a cure, but it does help with a lack of energy, trouble sleeping, and anxiety with a boost of vitamin D. But you can over-do it. I usually use the lamp for 30 to 60 minutes in the morning.

VIDEO: Whether I’m at work or at home, I often have YouTube running on either my TV or my Google smart device, playing a video of the beautiful resort islands of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean. Blue sky. Clear water. Green islands. White sandy beaches and palm trees. Sometimes I’ll have a video playing in the background of some of my happy places, like Disneyland.

Photo: Mav3rick
Photo: Mav3rick
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MUSIC: Ah yes! Much like the videos I have playing in the background, music really can shift my emotions. Music therapy has been known to do wonders to the soul. Music is more important than anyone realizes. Think about the movie, Jaws. Would Bruce the great white shark approaching the boat Orca be all that scary without that haunting music? So I love listening to uptempo music that reminds me of the beautiful beaches of Redondo. For me it’s the Beach Boys. I know. It sounds like a cliche’ but it works for me.

Photo: Mav3rick
Photo: Mav3rick
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EXERCISE: Yeah. I get it. Ugh. But trust me. When I was down in the dumps, I was eating a lot, and not working off the calories. And I balloon up to 280 pounds. After seeing myself on a TV commercial I was in for American Idol, I was embarrassed. So I got on a treadmill and starting walking. Eventually, running. With uplifting music with a message from Switchfoot, POD, OC Supertones, and TobyMac, playing in my earbuds. Within 5 months, I lost 80 pounds. But there was something else I had to do.

Photo: Mav3rick
Photo: Mav3rick
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EAT HEALTHY: Ha! You saw that coming like a bull running across the George Sellar Bridge. As I mentioned, I did not eat very well during those days of depression. So I had to change up my eating habits. Foods with vitamins. Like vitamin D milk. Coffee. Leafy greens. Salmon. Turkey. Chicken. I don’t like carrots, but I started to add them to my salads when I saw the benefits. Sometimes it’s just the little things like nuts and beans. And, all these things will all give you a boost of energy. But stay away from those energy drinks or even sodas. 

SEEK HELP: I mentioned earlier that shortly after moving to Eugene, Oregon, I went out to seek help from a therapist. We can do all these things I’ve written here, but these are just small things. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing. There’s nothing like the help and accountability from a specialist. TRUST ME! trust me.

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