It's Sunday! You know what that means - It's the Sunday Brunch. Today Mic shares a little about feeling blue in the most wonderful time of year. This weeks delicious recipe is a Crispy Cheesy Hash Brown Egg Bake. We also have a message from Karl Forehand on Being and Becoming, as well as the weekly faves: Sunday Set List, Book Brunch, Song of the Week and The MMM That's Good Coffee (or Tea). So buckle up - it's brunch time. Bon Appetit!
Song of the week
FEELING Blue in the most wonderful TIME of year
It's that time of year again. It's the holiday season. Turkey, family gatherings, pumpkin pie, christmas songs, decorations, hot chocolate and so much more. For some of us it's also a season of depression. We can't quite explain it, but something begins to happen as the season changes and the night grows longer. Some call it the blues and just struggle to put on a brave face and just try get through it. I have been walking through this for a few years now. It's strange to have a time of year that was so dear to you when you were young become a season of just trying to put on a happy face. I feel like I can actually have a conversation about it now because I have talked to so many of you who are going through the same thing. So - Let's talk about it and share ways we are helping our mental health in this season.
What is seasonal affective disorder?
Many people go through short periods of time where they feel sad or not like their usual selves. Sometimes, these mood changes begin and end when the seasons change. People may start to feel “down” when the days get shorter in the fall and winter (also called “winter blues”) and begin to feel better in the spring, with longer daylight hours.
In some cases, these mood changes are more serious and can affect how a person feels, thinks, and handles daily activities. If you have noticed significant changes in your mood and behavior whenever the seasons change, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression.
In most cases, SAD symptoms start in the late fall or early winter and go away during the spring and summer; this is known as winter-pattern SAD or winter depression.
What causes SAD?
Scientists do not fully understand what causes SAD. Research indicates that people with SAD may have reduced activity of the brain chemical (neurotransmitter) serotonin, which helps regulate mood. Research also suggests that sunlight controls the levels of molecules that help maintain normal serotonin levels, but in people with SAD, this regulation does not function properly, resulting in decreased serotonin levels in the winter.
Other findings suggest that people with SAD produce too much melatonin—a hormone that is central for maintaining the normal sleep-wake cycle. Overproduction of melatonin can increase sleepiness.
Both serotonin and melatonin help maintain the body’s daily rhythm that is tied to the seasonal night-day cycle. In people with SAD, the changes in serotonin and melatonin levels disrupt the normal daily rhythms. As a result, they can no longer adjust to the seasonal changes in day length, leading to sleep, mood, and behavior changes.
Deficits in vitamin D may exacerbate these problems because vitamin D is believed to promote serotonin activity. In addition to vitamin D consumed with diet, the body produces vitamin D when exposed to sunlight on the skin. With less daylight in the winter, people with SAD may have lower vitamin D levels, which may further hinder serotonin activity.
Negative thoughts and feelings about the winter and its associated limitations and stresses are common among people with SAD (as well as others). It is unclear whether these are "causes" or "effects" of the mood disorder, but they can be a useful focus of treatment.
So - What Can We Do About It?
First off - I'm not an expert here. I'm just going to share what I have done to help with the "blues" over the holidays. I hope that my thoughts will open up conversation where we can help each other during the holidays. This is a safe place to share with each other. Ok. Here's what I do:
Vitamin D I actually just started taking this in the last few years. I don't remember who recommended or if it was an article I had read but I do know this - It helps.
When It's Sunny - Go Outside If you can't go outside, sit near a window. Open up those curtains and let the light in. Go for a drive. I know it sounds crazy - but the Sun is very therapeutic this time of year.
.Make Time For Fun The hustle and bustle amplifies the symptoms of SAD or it dulls them until they finally explode down the road and you are left emotionally paralyzed (I know this from experience). Make time to just have fun. Jump in that pile of leaves with your kids. Have a snowball fight. Go to a christmas concert or play. Whatever is fun for you - GO DO IT!
Read A Book I know what you are going to say - "Mic, all you do is read books". I get it. I'm a broken record when it comes to books. But honestly - Reading is a good escape. It activates your brain and energizes your imagination and creativity - more than watching tv. I'm not saying you have to be a bookworm like me but grab a book about something that interests you and spend a half hour with your nose in it. Watch the magic happen!
Talk To Someone Communication is the best medicine with SAD. That can be your spouse or a good friend you trust. Maybe you need to talk to a professional therapist. You can click the FIND HELP tab on our website to connect with someone. Opening up and talking can help you see things that are helpful and hurtful while your walking through this season. Others may be able to see what triggers your depression or what helps it.
Start A ThankFul Journal Spend a few minutes in the morning or evening jotting down a few things you are thankful for. Then in those moments where you feel overwhelmed - grab your journal and read through your notes. Sometimes you just need a perspective change.
Know Your Limit Sometimes you just need to be alone. Don't push it. Don't be afraid to tell friends or family that you can't make it to something because you need a moment. If they are truly family they will get it. If not - It's still ok. You need to be healthy. Self-care is not selfish - it's actually better for everyone. Think of where the world would be right now if more people would practice self-care. I think we would actually walk in more empathy, compassion and sympathy for others because we learned to have it for ourselves.
Medication I put this one last because I want it to grab your attention. If you have been struggling with depression for a long time - please listen to me. Call your doctor and talk to them about it. Sometimes our bodies do not produce (or under produce) certain chemicals and other things that I do not understand that help regulate things. We need help and there is no shame in asking for it or taking prescribed medication that helps. Medicine is a true miracle. Please do not be afraid or ashamed of asking for help. If you need to talk to someone about this or need some encouragement - please feel free to message us on our FACEBOOK page or contact us HERE. We are here to help.
I really hope this helped some of you today. If you struggle with SAD as well what are some of the ways you deal with it. Let's stay in touch and help each other this year.
Crispy Cheesy Hash Brown Egg Bake
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Grease a 9x13-inch (23x33-cm) baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
2. Peel the potatoes, then shred on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer to a large bowl of water and swirl around to remove excess starch. Drain and rinse, then place the potatoes in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze until they’re completely dry.
3. Add the shredded potatoes to a clean, large bowl with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, cayenne, onion powder, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. Toss until fully combined.
4. Transfer the potato mixture to the baking dish. Spread evenly.
5. Bake for 1½ hours, or until the potatoes are tender throughout and golden brown on the top and bottom.
6. Press the bottom of a glass into the potato mixture to create 6 evenly spaced wells.
7. Shingle slices of cheddar cheese and ham around the wells, then crack an egg into each one.
8. Bake for 15 minutes more, or until the cheese melts and the egg whites are set. The egg yolks should still be slightly soft.
9. Serve and sprinkle with chives, if desired.
MMM that's Good Coffee (or Tea)
Silver Bridge Coffee has a Mothman Blend and it's the BOMB. It's a rich and intense combination of two African coffees that creates a bold, rich, full-bodied cup of coffee. If you love a powerful cup of coffee! Our family (the Cox's) snagged this the last time we were at the Mothman Museum and we are so glad we did. Snag a bag today.
About Silver Bridge CoffeeSilver Bridge imports the finest Fair Trade and organic coffee from all over the world. Freshness is key to optimal coffee flavor, so Silver Bridge goes from roaster to coffee cup in the shortest amount of time. Handwritten roast dates are on the back of every bag we sell at many of our stores.
Silver Bridge is the first company in Ohio to offer 100% recyclable Single Serve Pods. We fill our own single serve pods and the proprietary cups have a seal that acts as a valve so we can fill our pods within 24 hrs after roasting.
This is Karl Forehand speaking at the LEaning Forward Conference. It's a great talk on being and becoming. You can catch the rest of the conference HERE.
Hope is here
Welcome. We are honored you stopped by to check us out. Please, pull up a chair and hang out for a while. We value your presence and conversation. Feel free to message us any questions or thoughts you may have.