For years, I’ve been a huge advocate for S.A.D, regardless, no, because, of the so many who simply turn their noses up at this condition. For those who don’t know, S.A.D is the abbreviation of Seasonal Affective Disorder, in simpler terms it’s when one is affected by the seasonal weather changes.
The lacking in Vitamin D, the darker days and often confinement to the sheltered indoors really does affect a whole host of people on a clinical level. And while, in a true Trump and Global Warming style-y, many people chose to deem this disorder as complete and utter nonsense… “It’s a bit of rain, get a grip.” “No one likes winter, seriously?! Stop attention seeking.” Many people do suffer to a significant degree with this disorder. I won’t bore you with the science behind why this could genuinely be the reason you’re struggling to start your day or find a reason to smile, but what I will do, is offer some ways of gaining some control back while we battle through the winter blues.
For many years, I ignored the shift in moods I experienced come winter time. Instead I blamed my circumstances, partner, family, when really it was the greying skies that were raining on my parade. Quite literally. Be okay with being affected by the weather, and take your emotions with a pinch of salt. Give yourself an extra minute when evaluating your never-going-to-get-better days.
Also remember it doesn’t mean your weak, it may just mean our evolutionary makeup is a little bit flawed in areas. Be kind to yourself and also be kind to your loved ones, you’ll want them back in your life come summer time (insert playful wink emoji).
With the previous point being said, that is of the premise that you’ve had years to compare and correlate with historical data from your previous years. So you know what’s going on when it’s been raining for 15 straight days and your mood is as low as one can be. If you’re experiencing a heavy bout of the January blues this year however, unexpectedly, don’t cut yourself short just because you didn’t feel this way last year. None of us can really explain the power of our environment. Much like point 1, be kind and check in with yourself. Monitor your moods and again, don’t take your lowness too seriously just yet. Give yourself a month or so to see if there’s any improvement before making any hasty decisions. But once again, remember this isn’t a weakness. And it’s okay to just be a little sad for no reason sometimes, this year may just be a little more greyer than the ones you’ve experienced previously.
I often underestimate the medicinal value of open space, even when it’s not the Instagram blue skies. I often ignored the power of the ocean, especially when the fog made it hard to differentiate between the sky and sea. It may not be warm and bright but getting outside even when it’s a cold, solum winters day still has its benefits. The fresh air, the natural light shouldn’t be forgotten about. They’re therapy even without their beautiful, golden Sunshine sister, enjoy them in all their beauty. Hell, learn to dance in the harsh, cold English rain.
A pretty self-explanatory point, but no less important than any other. Open up and let your feelings out into the fresh air. Your emotions have a tendency to fog up your mind, and more often than not, nothing is ever as bad as you think it is. Reveal your worries, anxieties, fears and thoughts to someone you trust and create some what of a road map or a pro and cons list of how these things will likely evolve. Keeping silent about your sadness is like feeding it food. You’re only letting it grow. Deprive it with what it needs and let a friend rationalise your feelings with you. It’ll soon starve of oxygen and maybe even slightly wilt away. I’m not saying talking to someone about how the season affects you will stop said season from affecting you, but it will make you feel less alone and potentially give you some hope that it does get better, and brighter. Don’t fight this alone, ask for help.
And unfortunately I don’t mean book a ticket over to Australia for the 8 weeks of the harsh winter. Think smaller. Break the year down to more digestible chunks. Schedule in your date nights, fancy dinner plans, staycations and of course those precious holidays. Having something to look forward to really does help fight a magnitude of sins, all while breaking up that long cold and dark winter. It reminds you to take each day/week/month as it comes as opposed to worrying about how you will get through the next 90 odd days.
The days will get longer, and things will get brighter. Just keep moving forward and take time to listen to your body and mind. Ask for help, take in the fresh air and remember these things don’t last forever. You’re not alone and you are silly for feeling these things, keep going.