Before you ask, yes, I am making up new syndromes. I don’t know if “the birthday blues” actually exist, but I’ve had it every year since turning 40.
It officially started the year I learned about the number of calories in birthday cake.
Until then, it was all about My Special Day, presents, cake and ice cream and other calorically laden things that meant nothing to me at age 3… grabbing a fork and shoveling it in without a care in the world.
Sigh. Let’s have a moment of silence for those days.
So yeah, now that I think of it, it started way before 40.
Don’t get me wrong — I’m thrilled I made it through 2017 to age 59. It’s not been an easy year for many of us, as I’m sure you can relate.
It’s also why this email is (probably) going out late today. Because I planned on writing a special post, I envisioned a masterpiece of writing that chronologies all the awesome things I learned in the past 59 years.
In my mind, it would earn the highest honor: refrigerator magnet worthy.
I wanted to include a timeline and profound words of wisdom such as:
If you think I have a wild imagination, clearly you don’t know me.
All of these happened at one point this year.
Yup, even the trapped lizard, a story so horrendous I’m not sure I want to put a link to that story here. (But feel free to use the search box if you’re so inclined.)
And did you know when you drop a quart of Greek yogurt from a standing position, and the container lands flat on its bottom, that the contents shoot up far enough to compete with geysers in Yosemite Park?
A totally true fun fact, personally tested by me.
The details of these life situation revelations would’ve expanded your mind, given you food for thought, and maybe even helped you live a better life.
But nope. It’s too late and those stories will have to wait for another time.
I do have real, legit, cold weather tips for those of you if this post-holiday season is making you a bit cray cray. I think they’d work just as well for overcoming any day you’re feeling less than festive…
You knew I’d bring this up, right? But it’s legit: Exercising by simply walking for 35 minutes a day five times a week or for an hour three times a week helps improve mild to moderate depression, according to a Harvard study.
Artificial light (a light box), for 30 minutes a day is as effective as antidepressant medications for some people. Although it doesn’t work for everyone, it’s worth a try. Keeping blinds and curtains open and sitting close to windows during the day may also help. I did this one winter and it seemed to help.
Similar to a light box, a “dawn simulator” gradually increases the light in the bedroom, allowing you to think you’re waking up on a sun-drenched beach. It works at least until you step onto a cold, hardwood floor and see the snow falling outside your window.
Listening to upbeat music also helps mood. Set aside the depressing stuff, though, and focus on danceable tunes. It’s hard to stay down in the dumps while listening to the B52s Love Shack.
On one hand, you don’t want to wish too much time away. On the other, making plans for a vacation also boosts happiness, so go for it. It’s easier to cope with the cold when you know there’s a light at the end of that tunnel.
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>>> How do YOU celebrate your birthday? Is it a big deal or do you let it pass quietly into the night? Let me know in the comments below! Let’s chat…
Your Ageless Body Coach,
Linda Melone is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, certified trainer and award-winning health and fitness writer. She specializes in helping women over 50 get in shape and lose weight.