Proactive ways to fight the Winter gloom in Charleston – Dr. J

January 16, 2015

It’s the dead of winter in Charleston and many of us are missing the beach, riding around with the convertible top down or simply being comfortable going about our daily lives. While it is certainly not “North Face” weather here on most winter days, despite the attire some Charlestonians wear, it is cold, rainy and gloomy. It can leave many of us depressed, unfortunately contributing to a surge in suicides in the springtime. The Charleston Daily recommends being proactive to fight the Winter gloom with the following tips.

1) Add some color to your life, or kitchen. Think about heading to your nearest paint or hardware shop and pour over the wide array of colors available. From Sunburst Yellow to Caribbean Blue, a color will likely call your name. Buy a gallon, a brush, and give your favorite room a new glow. If you can’t commit, sample paint colors are available for under $3. http://www.valsparpaint.com/en/explore-colors/sample-store/index.html

2) Make your own springtime. Garden centers have started displaying seeds and starter pods. My experience has been that most garden center employees, particularly those at Royall Ace Hardware on Coleman Boulevard, are enthusiastic about educating new gardeners. In just a few days, you may have adorable spouts of green herbs and flowers, in your own home.

3) Warm up around the fire. So many folks pass by the woodpile outside the grocery store without giving it a second thought. It’s easy to forget about the fireplace or fire pit in our own backyards. Consider buying a bundle and making a fire that friends and family can gather around. Safety first though… http://www.fireplaces.com/Fireplace-Safety.aspx

4) Get your own glow. While the risk of skin cancer is real with tanning beds and sunning at the beach, a spray tan holds little risk. Long gone are the days of the orange tinged “fake bake.” Some brilliant scientists have learned how to create a natural appearing tan for your sallow winter skin. The spray tan lasts for at least 7 days and can give you a huge confidence boost that may make these last two chilly months easier to bear. Lulu at Sun Station Tanning in Mount Pleasant can give you a great lesson in sunless tanning.

5) Don’t waste a pretty day on a colonoscopy. Take one of these gloomy days and spend it inside prepping for one of the most important preventative health exams you can offer yourself, a colonoscopy. Over 50? Get one. Have a first degree relative with colon cancer? You need one at age 40 or ten years earlier than their age at diagnosis. 1/20 Americans will be diagnosed with colorectal cancer and it can be deadly if caught late. The good news is, many cases can be prevented with routine screening and surveillance colonoscopy. The procedure itself is not without risk, but I witness and perform this life-saving, routine procedure every day. For more info about risk, check out: http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/moreinformation/colonandrectumcancerearlydetection/colorectal-cancer-early-detection-acs-recommendations

Have any other tips to fight off the gloom? Let us know.

Until next time, stay warm and healthy. ~ Dr. J

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