Alternatives to self-medication
Many “recreational” drug users are not only using them for recreation, but to self-medicate. The following blues-fighting list from local psychologist Michael Radkowsky, though basic, is spot-on. As an aside, I met Michael through the listserv of the Horowitz-Margareten extended family; we are very distantly related.
By Michael Radkowsky, Psy.D.
As the weather gets colder and the days get shorter, many of us experience a downturn in our mood. If this is happening to you, here are some suggestions for combating the blues:
1. Spend some time in the sunshine every day. (Check with your dermatologist about how to protect your skin from damaging rays.)
2. Get regular aerobic exercise, which helps your brain combat depression and anxiety.
3. Do something you like, often. Make frequent plans with friends, or schedule ongoing volunteer activity, to combat isolation and improve mood.
4. Eat well and include omega-3 fats in your diet (these fats help maintain positive mood).
5. Start meditating. Meditation is easy to learn and can help you more easily shift away from negative thoughts.