Sunday, 25 November 2012

Winter Blues


 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!



4 comments:

  1. Sorry, my depressions are random, work very hard to attach themselves to a reason, and are usually short.

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  2. It was good to read that you are figuring out ways of dealing with SAD. I'm interested to read how it worked by February. I feel the symptoms usually associated with SAD for most of the year {I do nothing for it, just survive} but believe you are right to take steps against it. I always think about people who live in parts of the world with darkness for six months at a time and wonder how they feel. To be honest, where I am, it is usually 'rain, clouds and dark days' so I don't think about it too much. People say 'we should be used to it by now' and laugh but nobody ever 'is' used to it. It's interesting. There is something to it.

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  3. I will follow up in the spring! I am still perfectly happy in the winter, it is my energy that is directly affected.

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  4. It was really interesting reading about how you've worked to combat your SAD - thank you for sharing. I get the usual winter doldrums, but certainly not anything like as bad as SAD sufferers. I try to keep up with exercise (even though I really don't want to!) over the winter and keep my routine as normal as possible, to stop myself getting to the point where I just don't get out of bed on the weekends!

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