Rain & snow fade, AM icy spots. 5 ways to beat SAD: Botox??

82 consecutive hours of cloudy skies at MSP as of midnight Thursday!

5 degrees – temperature range at MSP Airport since 5pm Sunday

.25″ to 1″ rainfall range in southern Minnesota and the Twin Cities

(Would have been 3″ to 12″ of snow if temps were 5-7 degrees colder!)

.5″ to 3″ snowfall range in northern Minnesota

29 degrees by morning – scattered icy spots in much of Minnesota by morning

5 ways to beat SAD

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Low pressure moving out

A moderately strong low pressure system is moving away from Minnesota early Thursday. Behind the system, brisk northwest winds will put a more typical December chill in the air, and at least try and scour out some of the grey gunk that’s been hanging around since Sunday afternoon.

We may even see a few peeks of the sun in the next 3 days!

The system left behind some impressive rainfall totals generally between .25″ and 1″ in southern Minnesota, with scattered snow and ice up north.

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Wundermap shows evening radar and precipitation. Blue circles show rainfall totals.

With soil temps above freezing down to about 4″ to 6″ in much of southern Minnesota, some of the much needed rain actually soaked in! Hooray for our lawns and fields. That’s “bank” for next spring.

Land of 10,000 grey hours!

Yes, I exaggerate. But it seems like we haven’t seen the sun in years.

Actually it’s been cloudy since about 2pm Sunday in most of southern Minnesota.

That’s about 82 consecutive hours of clouds and grey in the metro through midnight Wednesday-Thursday!

In that time the temperatures have held rock steady. We’ve only budged a grand total of 5 degrees in over 3 days. Temps hovered between 35 and 40 degrees since Sunday afternoon!

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5 ways to beat SAD: Botox??

You can feel weight of the grey, foggy blanket these days. For many people it feels like we’re slogging through hip deep muddy water just to get everyday tasks accomplished this time of year.

SAD is real for many Minnesotans. Here are some tips I found on ways to beat, or at least ease the effects of Seasonally Affected Disorder.

“1.Sleeping patterns – It’s important to try and get your body into a consistent sleeping pattern throughout the week including the weekends. Although it’s nice to have a lie in, repeatedly hitting the “snooze” button on Saturday morning may leave you feeling lethargic and more tired when the next working week arrives.

2.Light therapy – Reduced exposure to natural light has been known to cause a chemical imbalance inside the brain which can leave us in a depressed mood along with a sense of fatigue and irratability. One unique suggestion is to invest in a “seasonal light box” for the side of your bed, which mimics the suns rise a little earlier, in the comfort of your own bed. There are many sizes and options available so you’re bound to find one that will suit your needs best.

3.Food – The summer leaves many of us encouraged by the flurry of fresh fruit and veg available at that time of year. Try and keep your intake of fruit and veg up throughout the winter period, and maintain a healthy intake of complex carbs such as wholegrain rice, pasta and bread. The added sustenance will keep your energy levels high throughout the day.

4.Exercise – Regular exercise produces endorphins – we all know this. Many of us will start to sway away from our regular exercise routines as the temperature begins to drop, but try to maintain them and your body will thank you for it. Many studies have shown how physical workouts can help improve sleep and muscle tension. If it helps, try moving your workout so that it takes place during the few daylight hours that we have – It’ll help lift your mood!

5.Laugh it up! – Socialising is easily one of the best ways to help beat SAD. Meet up with friends on a regular basis, and don’t sit at home being a couch potato under a blanket. Laughter has been known to produce many psychological benefits, boosting your immune system and lowering the effects of stress. Coupled quite perfectly from the phrase “a happy worker is a productive worker,” you may find yourself quickly changing your attitude to winter.”

One tip I found made me sit back in my chair. Botox? Really? Just a marketing conspiracy by some overactive dermatologists perhaps? Read below, your facial expressions may actualy hold a key to how you feel inside.

“Botox for a better mood

It may sound odd, but having Botox just before winter could actively improve your SAD symptoms. Why is this the case? Some researchers believe that paralyzing the muscles between the eyebrows has a significant reduction on people diagnosed with depression.

Dr Eric Finzi started studying the effects of Botox injections on depressive disorder in 2006. He found that after 2 months all subjects had markedly improved in temperament. Her argues this wasn’t due to increased body image, it was because “if you inhibit the ability of this muscle to contract, you’re actually going to feel less sadness and anger. You’re actually going to have more difficulty feeling the emotion because feelings are not just something that’s happening in the brain.”

Richard Alleyne, science writer for the Telegraph says that, ‘The anti-wrinkle drug can make people feel better because it stops them frowning when they are unhappy which feeds back to the brain reducing the intensity of the feeling.’

Another study- this one by the US Association for Psychological Science found tested a group of 40 people with Botox. They were asked to read out a series of statements ranging in tone from positive to negative, before and after treatment. They discovered a small time delay on the negative statements occurring after treatment, which researcher David Havas finds significant because it suggests the brain takes longer to process the emotion behind the statements.

Mr Havas said: ‘There is a long-standing idea in psychology called the facial feedback hypothesis. Essentially, it says, when you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you. It’s an old song, but it’s right. Actually, this study suggests the opposite: When you’re not frowning, the world seems less angry and less sad.”

Okay so I’m not suggesting you rush out to your nearest neighborhood Botox party, but it is interesting.

Wait; are those wrinkles under my eyes?


  • Michael B

    Thanks, Paul. That was a nice diversion, and it actually cheered me up a bit. Look at those T-storms in NE Wisconsin!

    Enjoyed your Post! Always a great read…

    Michael B


  • Dan

    That the temperature has only varied 5-degrees over a 3-day period is incredible – especially in December! (I could believe it if was say March.) Anyone have idea if this sets some type of record?

  • Kathy

    Paul,can you tell me why a week or so before the solstice it begins to get lighter (at around5pm), it was explained once and I have forgotten. I am in winona, thanks!