Letter: Dance yourself to happy | SteamboatToday.com
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Letter: Dance yourself to happy

I am writing to remind you to be the wacky, wild and wonderful person you are, and dance like nobody is watching; whenever you can.

As we enter into another Colorado winter, it is important to be mindful of seasonal affective disorder — SAD — that so many of our residents suffer from. In 2010, the most recent year of national data available, Colorado had the eighth highest suicide rate in the country, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The reasons for which Colorado has such a high suicide rate is debated. However, depression is often a factor in suicide. Nearly two-thirds of the Coloradans who commit suicide were suffering from depression at the time of their deaths, according to CDPHE.

It is clear that depression is something we should be mindful of as Colorado residents. Coupled with our typical seasonal challenges, we are also coping with the inevitable dissonance from the upcoming election, the continuing death toll and lasting stress of COVID-19, not to mention, the killer bees that appeared in July; and no, I am not talking about the affiliated members of the Wu-Tang Clan. If we are not careful, any number of us Colorado residents can fall into bouts of depression without realizing we are.

That is why I suggest you dance at every opportunity you get. In the shower, around your kitchen or even as you complete your daily tasks. It does not matter where it happens, it is only important that is does. Dancing is free, performed by oneself or with a group, and you do not even need music to get into it — although it certainly helps. Dancing breaks apart the mundane and can disrupt habitual processes we do not even realize we have fallen into.

So, whether you are looking for positive physical, emotional or psychological changes, or simply want to have a good time, dancing is your quickest route to freedom. So please, stop worrying about those moves, break out that song you just cannot resist dancing to and dance yourself to happiness.

Keighton Leftwich
Fort Collins, formerly Steamboat Springs


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