Onslaught of snow brings winter blues PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:15
BG resident Phil Avina clears his drive Wednesday afternoon. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
Snow. Ice. Treacherous roads. Sub-arctic cold.
Sometimes, it's enough to drive you crazy.
People can find their psyches challenged by winter conditions - especially during frigid, snowy winters such as this. But there are ways to fight the deep winter doldrums.
"Just the winter and the lack of sunlight is something that has been correlated with depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder," said Mike Zickar, chair of the Psychology Department at Bowling Green State University, "so that's a big concern. And I think just the cooping up inside is probably one of the most significant aspects of this winter."
Having outdoor outlets like exercise taken away can be significant for people, he said.
"Also, with the socialization, people want to be out with other people as much as they can, and when snow closes them in like this," they feel like they can't get out, said Molly Whelan, program manager at The Link. "That can definitely add to anxiety and depression that go along with mental illness. And we definitely, at The Link, have gotten more calls from people who are struggling with being stuck inside a little bit, cabin fever that comes with it."
"Certainly we are all struggling as this winter goes on," Whelan said, "the limits and the nervousness about driving all that other anxiety is piling on each other."
One way to fight the winter is simply to get away from it.
Sue McCloskey, vice president for travel at AAA Northwest Ohio, said they've seen a significant uptick this winter in people looking to take trips out of the cold.
Molly Whelan, Program Manager at The Link.
"Not only is it spurring travel right now, but it's spurring travel all year," she said.
"In the travel agency, this extreme weather means people want to go now."
In some cases, she said that AAA is already booking trips into 2015.
While January, February and March are traditionally called "wave season," when many trips are planned, she said that January already showed an increase of 5 percent over previous numbers.
Popular destinations include European locales, Cancun, San Diego, Las Vegas, Jamaica, and the major favorite, Florida.
Some are also turning to more artificial sunlight - tanning. Fiesta Hair and Tanning in Bowling Green reported they have seen an increase this winter in people wanting a summery glow; Heat Tanning Salon said that they are seeing steady numbers, and said that the second semester of the school year is usually the busier one.
There are also simpler ways to fight the blues brought on by the deep freeze.
Whelan noted that those troubled by the weather can always call The Link, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"If you've got cabin fever at 2 in the morning, call The Link," she said. Additionally, people can check with their friends and perhaps plan get togethers if they live close by, such as in an apartment complex, to "continue social lives as best they can within the limits of the weather."
"We always want people to be safe, that's the main thing," she said.
Zickar said that he's "been trying to turn it into a positive, that it's going to be one of those winters that we talk about years from now. I've been trying to kind of see the positive, that we're breaking records that won't be broken for many years. And trying to get outside as much as I can. In my work office, I even have one of those high-powered lamps to supplement the indoor lighting. That seems to make a little bit of difference as well."
"And," he said, "just trying to laugh a lot."
Last Updated on Thursday, 06 February 2014 10:23

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