I am currently in the full-on grip of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).
Need more info on SAD? Here is a link to an earlier post: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/03/11/im-sad/
Have I ever been diagnosed by a doctor, you ask?
I exist under a perpetually gray sky, can barely get out of bed in the morning, have no energy, and no will to continue to exist. I don’t need to pay a doctor to tell me that is depression. And every year, just after Christmas, I want to run away, get a different job, do stupid, drastic things. It will pass in time; I know this. It is hard to accept right now, but I know when the days start to get longer, I will gradually move out of this, and move out of depression and lethargy into anxiety and insomnia.
Ain’t life grand?
But, it always catches me off guard. I mean, I have an actual imitation sun light that sits out all year because I never quite manage to get it packed away when summer arrives. So, these feelings should be no surprise. But here I am, chugging along, trying to continue being productive in my day-to-day life, and then I hit this dreary, gray wall. I am under a heavy blanket of despair that I can’t push off to even get the simplest of household chores completed in a timely manner.
So, I’m thinking maybe next October I need to put a plan in place to prepare a little. I am just making this up, so let’s see what I come up with…
- Lower production expectations.
Maybe I need to tie up as many loose ends as possible prior to this dim time of year. Not expect myself to start a book in January, because, let’s face it, I won’t.
- Prepare dinners ahead of time.
A great idea would be to prepare dinners on the weekend, during daylight hours, and then freeze them for the week ahead. It would help because by the time I pick up my son from school and we get home, there is barely one hour of sunlight left in the day. Maybe I will try this next year, if I have money for actual food.
- Get a nighttime hobby.
One article I saw online mentioned getting a nighttime hobby. Well, in the evening hours, I should be writing. But then I’m like, “What is the point, anyway?” Last night I decided to finish a quilt I started a decade ago, that makes me feel like a big loser failure when I think of it sitting upstairs unfinished. But, somehow, that morphed into trying to make my own stuffed animal. Two, actually, because my son insists on having one also. (I will let you know how this turns out in a future post.)
The problem with this is my exercise of choice is walking and I am cold-blooded (my husband will attest to this), two things that do not go well together during wintertime in Michigan. I am not going to pay for a gym just to have a place to walk. And our mall is, well, let’s just say under construction and not as large as it used to be. I don’t want to be near stores because this time of year I am especially susceptible to retail therapy, which my checkbook does not support.
- Redecorate your bedroom.
I found a suggestion to redecorate your bedroom. I don’t know about redecorate, because I like the color of my walls and I like my curtains, etc. But tidying it could be a great step. Once upon a time I had a bedroom with a TV and a computer and tons of boxes in it. It was not good for sleeping. Feng shui, to one degree or another, is a real thing. If I clean my bedroom, maybe my sleep would be more productive and less stressful.
I read where you should snuggle with your partner. My husband works second shift (I will have another bitchy post on this soon), so five days out of the week he is not home for snuggling. And the other two, he is usually working on some project or another. But I do snuggle my dog. But then I remember she is old and that makes me even sadder.
- Avoid sugar.
Now, that’s funny. I don’t think so.
Begin taking 3,000 IU of vitamin D now and continue until May. Has anyone else tried this? I haven’t, but might look into it.
- Himalayan salt lamp.
I got a Himalayan salt lamp about six months ago. It won’t be a replacement for the lost hours of sunshine, by any means, but I think it helps with my anxiety. I’m not sure everyone would agree.
- Create a winter oasis.
Check out this link for how to create an oasis for your senses. It doesn’t sound like it has to be anything difficult or expensive. Click here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/design-your-path/201509/seasons-change-creating-winter-oasis-prepare-sad
- Forgive yourself.
Here is another link. It mostly lists the same steps for easing SAD, except there is a new one on this list: self-forgiveness. Elizabeth May says that if we eat junk all day one day or can’t get off the couch, that is OK because we are human. You can try again tomorrow. Click here: http://www.elizabethmaywrites.com/thoughts-on-seasonal-affective-disorder-sad-1-preparation/
- Take a trip.
Oh. I found something that says I should take a vacation to a sunny place. I will put that on my vision board. Oh wait, it is already on there. The picture has been on there so long, it is sun-faded. Irony, anyone?
- See a doctor.
Most articles I found end with “See a doctor”, mostly as a way to cover their asses. That is not as easy as they make it sound. I actually attempted to do this last year, unsuccessfully. I will get to the tipping point soon where I will feel like I am losing my mind. After that, hopefully my mental state will return to normal again.
You can always just get a blog and use it for therapy. That’s what I do 😉
From the broken mind of Jennifer Friess, the joining of hearts & souls…
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