We may have missed the Rapture on May 21, but that doesn’t mean the world isn’t ending. I think that, like that cardboard box I didn’t bring inside in time, the planet is just going to disintegrate from all the rain.
April showers blah blah blah, yes I know. It is May. It’s rained nearly every day.
We had one day of sunshine. I was in Albany. The office workers flooded into the streets at lunchtime like ants heading for a picnic. I think I saw one bespectacled fellow tear off his shirt and lie in the middle of the street in a shaft of sunlight, a look of delirious happiness on his face.
This endless parade of soggy days is separating the SAD from the pack. The oppressive, heavy gray days are hitting folks with Seasonal Affective Disorder hard. If they are aware of the problem, they’re spending their mornings in front of light boxes, packing for a desert vacation (there’s a drought in the Southwest, you know) and shopping online for baseball caps with full-spectrum lights mounted under the brims.
They are easily distinguished from the pale, caped vampire types who are roaming the gray streets in sunlight-free ecstasy. Some folks actually prefer gray weather. I know, hard to believe.
For the rest of us, here are some survival tips for when the Pacific Northwest feels just a bit too close to home:
Make your own light. Get a lightbox or full-spectrum light bulbs. Use them. Half an hour every day is what is recommended to help alleviate SAD.
Get brighter. Macy’s in New York, of all places, was a haven for me during a dreary trip to the city around Easter. They jammed the place with real flowers, creating an instant capitalist greenhouse. Seek out bright spaces. Minimalist art galleries with bright white walls are remarkably refreshing on dreary days. Do you have a bright room in your own home? Make it a haven of white walls and green plants.
Take off your sunglasses and put down that umbrella. Soak up whatever anemic rays there are to be had.
Concentrate on something. Anything! Now is the time to finish that impossible jigsaw puzzle. Write that symphony. Transplant seedlings to pots and remember that you will be putting them into the sunny earth soon.
Take your Vitamin D. Your body makes the vitamin with sunshine. You can take up the slack when the sun’s on hiatus.
Don’t try to drink your sadness away. Alcohol’s a depressant, folks. It’s not going to help.
Some people take anti-depressants. Reported results are mixed.
If you can do it, get away from here. Take a break. Go somewhere with a sunny forecast. Even a day or two can give you the strength you need to survive until the rain finally stops
Spend some time with a child. Children think everything is wonderful. I remember seeing butterflies in the rain as it splashed on the ground in a real downpour. Children can remind you about wonder.
Move. Yes, this is a radical solution. But it is actually one some people embrace. If you can’t take the weather, go somewhere that suits you.
Best of luck to you, fellow swamp things. I’d go for Number Eight at least, but I have to be here to mow the yard before the grass is over my head. It will dry out eventually, won’t it? ++