The authorPhoto: Thomas Germain
Christmas time is great, but it can also be a little melancholy. I’m not embarrassed to admit that I get depressed during the winter sometimes (and during the Spring, Summer, and Fall, for that matter). One thing that always helps is being a little playful and weird. So in the spirit of open-mindedness, I asked ChatGPT for help.
The suggestions it gave were pretty standard, but they’re probably all good ideas. “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a form of depression that occurs during the winter months, when there is less natural sunlight,” ChatGPT said. The AI explained that this kind of depression can happen to anyone, and said the symptoms can include problems like low mood, hopelessness, concentration problems, sleep or appetite changes, and low energy levels.
Nice to start with a reminder that this is a common problem. ChatGPT went on to suggest getting as much natural light as possible, regular exercise, a healthy diet, relaxation techniques like meditation, and seeking support from a friend or considering seeing a mental health professional.
I already saw my therapist this week, so I was well on my way. I threw on my headphones and took Chili out for a nice long walk. It was a little cloudy out, but I managed to get myself a dose of some natural light. I took extra time to let Chili sniff around and explore to her little Christmas-canine heart’s content.
When I got home, I did a half-hour of yoga with my favorite YouTube instructor and followed it up with some dried fruit and a healthy chicken sandwich. (ChatGPT also said I should limit sugary foods, so no more Christmas cookies for today.)
By the end of it, I was feeling a bit better. Nothing like a little AI to regulate your mood. Looks like it’s going to be a good Christmas after all.