It is that time of year again. Two months ago we were enjoying summer-like weather, but overnight it changed. Now there has been 3 weeks of rain, clouds, and dark days. Presently, I am appreciating it. Lying in bed listening to the rain, staying in and getting some game time in, reading, exercising, hot tea and winter recipes... They’re all things that I enjoy about winter. Soon, however, the fatigue will sink in. Usually a couple of weeks before Christmas, I start to drag myself around. A few years ago I ended up at the doctor for a myriad of tests, insisting that there was something seriously wrong with me. Thank goodness, there was nothing. After last year, I finally relinquished denial and realized that I suffer from SAD.
Everyone’s symptoms of SAD will vary. I become exhausted. On Groundhog day 2012 (February 2nd) I finally realized that SAD applies to me. I don’t think it was epically sunny or anything, but I suddenly had my energy back! I was at work, and I caught myself singing. I became more talkative and noticed an increase in general willingness to complete my daily tasks. Although I didn’t feel depressed in the winter, I did find myself feeling more positive, and my customer service skills were being put into full use. I was so relieved.
After that, of course, I had to incessantly read on the internet about SAD. I wanted a sure answer for what caused it. Unfortunately, there is no such thing, just a variety of hypotheses. Lack of sunlight is obviously has something to do with it, but weather its affecting the chemical balance of our brains, the body’s natural clock, hormone production and distribution, or if it’s just a natural genetic tendency to hibernate in the winter is yet to be determined. I did find it strange that I snapped out of in February, even though the weather had not improved much. This got me thinking about my own theories involving gravity, sun distance, and moon cycles, but I am not informed enough to even touch on that!
This year, I decided to take action. I have not bought a light-therapy device yet (more research to be done on that), but I started taking Vitamin D earlier this year. I changed job locations, allowing me to have more time to myself instead of commuting to and from the office, I started to work out and train myself to run. I focus on eating fairly well and taking multi vitamins, and I started to practice relaxation, specifically these apps that I discovered on the Iphone. I hope these measures offer some relief, and I will let everyone know in February how it went!
Do you suffer from SAD? If so, I would love to hear some stories, theories and solutions!