The Border Collie Chronicles

Observations from (arguably) the World's Smartest Dogs;
(but, without question, the bestest friends!)
or, Life As We Understand It, as told from dad's shop.

Posted November 17, 2016

I’m Sad[i]

By Annie


Yeah … we just fell back[ii] around this place … dad always says that he hates it when we do that!  He gets home later – heck, it’s practically too dark after he watches Judge Judy to even go swimming!   Hmmm, since he still watches Judge Judy, she must be coming home later too!  Well, also, it starts getting cooler … some days get downright COLD!  Anyway, I’ve figured out that around this time of year, it always seems that winter is just around the corner.  Well, come winter time, I’ve also figgered out that sometimes we can all become a little prone to “the winter blues”, or even worse, Seasonal Affective Disorder – or SAD (as I refer to it!).  Yeah, for many of us, the fall and winter months may mean a little gloominess and a cold-weather funk that we'll just have to work through, but for others though, that funk can manifest itself into SAD (and I ain’t making SAD up – it has it’s own Wiki Page and everything!) which is much more serious.  SAD is a thing that happens to some folks in the cooler months because they don’t get enough sunshine in their life (I am generally unaffected since I am around this freakishly huge “Mr. Sunshine” – that would be Bubba for those of you who aren’t paying attention – practically 24 x 7).  Studies show that girls get SAD more than boys and it also tends to affect the little ones more than the adults.  Also, it is noted that the folks that live further away from the equator get more SADder than those of us that live closer (DUH!  But just one more argument for the islands!) – I do feel sorry for those eskimoes, penguins and polar bears (not to mention that cute girl Ariel from Flying Wild Alaska – though based on her sunny attitude, I don’t think she is affected).  SAD can mess up your snooze time/cycles, cause depression, and often results in weight gain, fatigue and decreased libido.


Regardless of how you handle and cope with the cold weather months, here are a few tips to help you stay energized and in good spirits[iii]:


1.  Brighten Up Your Doghouse or Shop:

The first thing that you should do when you even suspected being SAD is to soak up all of that natural Vitamin D that you can!  Now, I know that this might be out of our control, especially with the long nights and short days of winter – but you can also get your people to switch the lights bulbs (Do you know how many BC’s it takes to change a light bulb?[iv]) to some of those new fangled ones that mimic natural light (note:  dad has changed ALL of the light bulbs in his doghouse to these lights – he says that they are supposed to save electricity too!).  You can also open up the shades on your windows too in order to let as much light as possible in.  Heck, even the old fashioned light bulbs may help some too – just leave them on a little longer!


2.  Get Organized[v]:

Yeah, getting your tasks and projects in order and, at least, making an effort to stay organized can actually help relieve some of the "down in the dumps" hopelessness that comes from not only being depressed, but being depressed and staring at a mountain of work to do.  By fixing up your to-do list into something that you can actually achieve, and prioritizing just what it is that would make you most happy to accomplish, can help get rid of that crushing weight that a huge, unorganized pile of stuff can cause.


Well, OK … maybe getting organized won’t actually relieve any of the symptoms of SAD, but it can help you be more productive, clarify the goals and tasks that you want to take on, and might just give you a good way to use your time without having to build up the steam to start a new task or project.  If you can just slide from task to task, you're less likely to throw up your hands in despair and just curl up on the couch until the spring thaw.  Plus, dad says that if mom-D would do just a little bit of this one, he would be much more happy!!


3.  Stay Active and Exercise:

Don't count out the benefit of exercise to help improve your mood and overall well-being.  It doesn’t matter if the winter time gets you a little down in the dumps or if the colder weather just makes you sink deeper into that ol’ couch – if you just get you tail up and start a workout regimen – I guarantee that it will go a long way towards making you feel better about yourself, your lifestyle, and even the time of year.  Even if you aren’t into that whole Richard Simmon’s thing, just getting up and outside for a quick walk in the daytime can make a huge difference.  You see, being active (that is exercising) releases dopamine, which is one of the neurotransmitters that regulates your mood, and whether it's the winter blues that have you down or you're just lazy, it can be a big help.  Heck, if you’ve already been exercising in the summer, just “Gear Up” and head out in the winter – as long as you warm up in our house, you ought to be good to go (if not, just exercise indoors!  Duh!)


4.  Socialize:

Get out of your house.  Surround yourself with friends and loved ones who won't let you shut yourself in the house all winter long.


Find some buddies that will get out in the daylight with you, work out with you, drag you out of the house for a while, or who'll come over and keep you company.  Do you have folks with kids, or nieces and nephews?  Kids seem to love to be outside in the cold (I think that they might be smarter than adults) – offer to take them to the park or go play some other place!  Keeping your friendships and social relationships strong will also help a lot, and keep you from wasting the winter away alone at home.


5.  Get Professional Help If It Gets Out of Control:

Hey … I’ve shared with you some most wondermous tips … but, if it gets out of control, it ain’t no big deal to get some help from someone who can visit with you about it (see number 4 above), or someone on the more professional side that can give you some drugs (prescription ONLY)!  While these tips can be great for the type of person who suffers from the winter blues, knows it, and will take action now to get themselves prepared for it – if you're the type who sinks into a more serious seasonal depression, it's time to talk to a professional, now, before deep winter sets in.  Replacing all of the light bulbs in your doghouse, getting organized, exercising and socializing may just not be enough to whisk away the winter blues.  Again, in these cases, it's best to get professional help.



Of course, you can do what all of the BC’s do on this place all the time (and not just when SAD rolls around) …


Just smile at someone;

pat a dog;

hug your spouse;

help a neighbor;

help a stranger;

get involved in something worthwhile;


but remember, EVERY DAY,


you need to share a laugh with a friend!!!



You can make a difference - START NOW!!!!!!!!

Love To All!






More Pearls Of Wisdom!


Idleness is an inlet to disorder, and makes way for licentiousness.  People who have nothing to do are quickly tired of their own company.

Jeremy Collier



Laughter is inner jogging.

Norman Cousins



Laughter is an instant vacation.

Milton Berle



When I'm not doing something that comes deeply from me, I get bored.  When I get bored I get distracted and when I get distracted, I become depressed.  It's a natural resistance, and it insures your integrity.

Maria Irene Fornes



Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon—laughter.  Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution—these can lift at a colossal humbug—push it a little—weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast.  Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand.

Mark Twain



Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.

Victor Hugo






[i] That would be Seasonal Affective Disorder – I took the concept and ideas from a LifeHacker article by Alan Henry.

[ii] I borrowed one of Bubba’s cartoons! 

Cartoon 2016-11-05


[iii] Of course, you can always watch that cute little eskimo again!  Her outlook on life and personality are as beautiful as she is!  (You can find her on YouTube.)


[iv] NONE – we don’t have opposable thumbs … DUH!


[v] If you need help getting organized, you might want to read THIS.

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