A simple remedy for seasonal blues

Candle Lantern

II think everyone is subject to bit of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) to some extent, when the sun is scarce. I notice a touch of it in myself as the days get shorter, rainy and overcast in October. The house begins to feel a bit gloomy. Basically, SAD is depression triggered by seasons, usually Fall and Winter.

My girlfriend has been diagnosed with SAD. I remember a conversation we had one winter when she said, "The way to get better is to make myself open the curtains, even if it's cloudy, and force myself run errands. That's the way to deal with this." She sounded hopeful, and yet I knew she was dreading the prospect of another long, dark season and soon her curtains would be drawn again and her spirits sagging.

That day, I told my friend of a quick way for cheering and brightening up on dark days. Simply light a candle (one or more). Candles work for me like a charm, as does firelight, kerosene lamps, and gas stoves like my grandmother once had shimmering in her parlor, with blue and purple flames. Light is mood lifting, at least for me. A candle flame is really like a miniature (portable) sun.

TThe next time I visited my friend, she had her table glowing with sparkling kerosene lanterns. She had young children and wanted something safer than an open flame, thus the use of the tall glass chimneys. She was all smiles that day, not a trace of dread for on-coming winter.

Please always use care when using candles or fire of any kind. Glass containers increase saftey and colorful electric lights are very cheerful when flames are too dangerous. No wonder strings of lights are so loved on holidays.

I use a glass-blown lantern for my tea lights. But, if I were trapped in a cubicle at work and couldn't rely on candles, my remedy for gloom would be a fabulous night-light on my desk, preferably one with an orange-y glow. I loved the nightlights with miniature landscapes under domes when I was a kid, and there are many beautiful designs made today.

"All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."

— Saint Francis of Assisi

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