I’ve suffered with Seasonal Affective Disorder for as long as I can remember.
As the nights draw in, and where you once were staring out of the window, on your commute home, and getting excited about having some dinner outside or catching a few rays, it’s now darker and colder than you’ve ever remembered it.
You may find that your mood begins to drop. That getting out of bed at your alarm, when the light hasn’t been disturbed by your phone beeping, like you have, is that bit harder.
That feeling is pretty normal in most people. However some of us can suffer with it pretty badly.
When I was teaching, I’d often go from enjoying ALL of the sunshine during my 6 weeks holidays, straight into a September of dark 5am wake up calls and even darker 6pm home times.
Luckily, now that I am freelance, I can sleep in until it’s light and get a dose of vitamin D during the day. Apart from when I’m holed up with 17 blankets and an equal amount of Say Yes To The Dress episodes (all the time).
But I anticipate that I will still suffer with it to some degree. Now that I’m 32, and have experienced it for many years, I have some coping mechanisms that have helped me out. So I thought I’d share em with ya so that you can get yourself ready to fight the ‘winter blues’.
Invest In An SAD Lamp/Alarm
We’d only been together 3 months or so when Ben bought me mine from Amazon*. He’d read my post on how I suffer with SAD and heard that these were helpful.
I set mine to start getting lighter (and calmly noisier) half an hour before I need to be up. It wakes me lightly and makes the room an ambient light that replicates day light.
I also set it before bed so that it gets dark and it helps me to drift off peacefully. I cannot recommend these enough.
Get Your Dose Of Vitamin D
I also take supplements which help but nothing is as good as getting natural daylight on your skin.
Try going for daily walks on your lunch break, even if it’s just to the corner shop for a packet of Quavers and a Diet Coke.
Start getting into the routine of doing this now so you’re used to it when we run out of daylight hours.
I’m the WORST person for this, often choosing to order copious Sunday night takeaways to stave off the Monday morning blues BUT if you put nutritious goodness into your system, as a routine, you get more energy when you wake up and during the day.
Get Things Ready The Night Before
You know that feeling of waking up with a jolt when your alarm goes off and it’s absolutely pitch black and freezing? And all you want to do is tortilla-wrap yourself further into your duvet and keep smashing that snooze button until you absolutely HAVE to get up (sans shower, make up and decent outfit-pulling-together-time)?
Well, make your life easier, and the prospect of getting up easier, by sorting your shit out the night before. Lay out your clothes, have your toiletries ready and getting up won’t seem such an insurmountable task.
Make Your Home A Relaxing Space
Self-care is paramount during the winter months. Eating, sleeping, resting, relaxing, exercising and conserving energy are all things you need to make a priority.
I don’t know about you, but I find my mind much more relaxed, my outlook far happier and my moods much lighter when my house feels like a home.
There’s something about organisation, cosiness and ‘hygge’ that makes the autumn/winter months more bearable.
I ensure that Sundays are ‘tidy’ days where everything is put back where it should, the bins are taken out and the smelly cheese is chucked from the fridge.
It’s when I water the plants that need watering and I do a bit of flower arranging. I cannot recommend Posy&Posy enough – they very kindly send me cocoons of different types of flowers and a mini-guide to arrange them and pretending I’m a florist for ten minutes instantly lifts me.
So grab your best blankets and organise your environment in preparation for a morning bad-mood.
These are some of the things I do to prepare my health and mood for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). What do you do to look after yourself in the colder months?
(Flowers were provided by Posy&Posy as a gift – they’re bleeding gorge aren’t they?)