Staycations, of course, refer to vacations taken in and around your city—or in and around your own house. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, people weary of canceled flights, pricey resorts, and highway traffic jams opted to unplug from their devices and plan a week doing everything they’d always wanted to do at home, or happily doing nothing at all.
The upsides abound. You’ll spend little to no time in transit, leaving you more time to enjoy the activities you love most. And you’ll save money—depending on how simple or luxurious you want to skew your time off. You can incorporate family or create an individual experience. Either way, you’ll reap many of the benefits of a traditional vacation and return to your regular life with renewed energy and a sense of well-being.
What can you do if you’re about to leave for a big trip and can’t find a plant-sitter to regularly water your indoor plants? Just like pets, your indoor ferns and marigolds need attention, too!
Fortunately, there are many simple and cheap DIY tricks to keep your green friends properly hydrated so that you don’t return home to a house full of wilting and yellowing plants. For many houseplants, it can be as simple as sealing a plastic bag over the foliage, which acts as a miniature greenhouse, preventing the soil from drying up quickly.
Winter is coming: shorter, colder, darker days are coming. If you are like me, getting depressed because the sun is not shining as it used to, is not warming as it used to… then you’ll find these articles super interesting and useful. There is a solution, and is in the food:
Find out what you can eat to help diminish Seasonal Affective Disorder’s effects
Common symptoms of SAD include extreme tiredness—the kind that makes you just want to curl up under the covers and sleep until spring—an intense craving for carbs (especially sweets), irritability, weight gain and the desire to avoid social situations.
Proponents of VITAMIN D supplementation as a therapy for SAD note that many of the contradictory studies used doses that were too low or used D2, a form of vitamin D that is weaker than the recommended D3. A 2010 comprehensive review of existing studies that looked at the effects of vitamin D on different kinds of depression and anxiety concluded that treating vitamin D deficiencies in people with depression might be an easy and cost-effective way to improve mental health.
Some results suggest that SAD is less common in those who consume more OMEGA-3 FATTY ACIDS, such as Icelandic people, who eat plenty of cold water fish. One of the largest studies ever conducted assessing omega-3s’ effectiveness in treating major depression (published in 2010 in the Journal ofClinical Psychiatry) looked at 432 people with major depression. Half the participants took a high-concentration fish oil supplement (1,050 mg of EPA and 150 mg of DHA); the other half took a similar-looking placebo. The researchers found the omega-3 supplements effective, comparable to results with conventional antidepressants.
Food Sources of SAD-Friendly Carbohydrates: GOOD SNACKING CHOICES include popcorn, pretzels, shredded wheat squares or low-fat biscotti. When it comes to meals, Wurtman recommends making dinner your main carbohydrate-containing meal. That’s because evening is usually the time when the symptoms of SAD are at their strongest—and so is the urge gorge on cookies. Eating healthier carbs, like lentils, brown rice and potatoes, may help fight that urge.
Indoors, try natural full-spectrum lighting and use light-colored fabrics, walls and rugs.
One of the most effective treatments for SAD is regular (usually daily) exposure to a specially designed light box, one that provides enough intensity of light to positively affect SAD symptoms (the light needs to be at least 10 times the intensity of regular household or office lighting)
Watch What You Eat
BASMATI RICE. The sugar in this rice is slow to release into the bloodstream, which helps blood sugar levels stay constant instead of going through highs and lows. Drastic changes in blood sugar can lead to weight gain, which is a side effect of SAD. Other foods with a similar effect on blood sugar are rye bread and pasta.
BOUILLON. When the carbohydrate craving is just about to defeat you, drink some hot bouillon or broth. Hot liquids in the belly are filling, and consuming them before a meal is an old diet trick that reduces food consumption. Better the bouillon than the banana cream pie.
CEREALS. Cooked cereal, unsweetened muesli, and bran flakes are slow to release sugar into the bloodstream, which helps raise serotonin levels.
FRUIT. Apricots gradually raises serotonin levels and helps keep them there, as do apples, pears, grapes, plums, grapefruits and oranges.
Limit Alcohol and Caffeine
Any herbal tea is a better choice than teas with caffeine. Your reduced energy level may cause you to turn to caffeine for a boost, but it can also cause anxiety, muscle tension, and stomach problems, so opt for herbal. Chamomile, peppermint, and cinnamon are pleasant-tasting choices. Drink a cup instead of giving in to your carbohydrate cravings.
You can also keep your body’s clock in sync by rising and retiring at the same time each day, even on weekends or days off from work. When you can’t get going no matter what you do, try sucking on some ice. Its chill can give you a wake-up call. Or, splash your face and wrists with ice water.
Another option is to steep peppermint or lemon oil in water and inhale. These are stimulating oils and may give you a little extra zip.
Take a Vacation
If possible, move to a sunnier climate. Most people can’t just get up and relocate. But for those who can, moving to a sunnier area helps SAD symptoms disappear. Indeed, SAD rarely affects people living within about 30 degrees of the equator. Otherwise, plan to take a trip during the winter months, whenever possible, to warm and sunny climates.
For most people with SAD, it takes two or three days of bright sunshine to elicit a reversal of symptoms.