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Hello From AJET: December 2014

If you’re feeling a bit woozy after each lesson from kerosene inhalation you know that it’s that magical time of year, when you can’t move (physically) from layers and (metaphorically) for saccharine jingles blaring from every speaker. Yes it’s winter, and Christmas is coming, and if you’re from the Southern hemisphere you might be feeling like a bit of an idiot struggling to stay warm in a down coat designed for the Arctic as your Northern friends wear t-shirts.

At this time, many may experience Seasonal Affective Disorder, more commonly (and appropriately) known as SAD. It is important to be aware of the ways that being sad and having SAD can affect your mood, and to take action before it overwhelms you. Symptoms of SAD can include not eating, eating too much, not sleeping, sleeping too much, overuse of stimulants such as alcohol or tobacco, being in a constant state of sadness or irritability, lack of energy, and withdrawing from social situations.

Luckily, with the introduction of a few endorphins into your system the symptoms of SAD can be alleviated or even eliminated. Make sure to get enough sleep. Eat a healthy diet that includes plenty of greens and fish. Watch how much you drink, or smoke. Exercise and stretch. Make plenty of time for your friends. Try to get outside in the daytime hours for vitamin D. And reach out if you are struggling. There is always help on hand if you need it. The AJET Peer Support Group offers confidential telephone counseling from 8PM to 7AM every night, and can be reached on 050-5534-5566.

If you are looking for something to get you out from under the kotatsu and out of the house, from December 4 – 15 Luminaire will light up Kobe’s Motomachi area. If you lack a significant other to do romantic things with or want to appreciate the glittery spectacle with friends, why not join Hyogo AJET on December 11 to meander through the incredible display and afterwards sample the best festival food Kansai has to offer.

For those going home for the holiday season, please enjoy your time with family and friends, eat good cheese and deli meat, drink delicious and reasonably priced wine, and be merry. For those who are travelling, stay safe, and have fun. If you’re staying in Japan, get up early on January 1 to climb a mountain and see the sunrise, or visit a temple at midnight to receive blessings for the year ahead. And don’t forget the Christmas cake! Merry Christmas and happy holidays!


Kylie Pinder


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