Recently the seasons have changed and as some of you noticed that I’ve fallen off the world… yea… you can blame the change of light & weather. I know it sounds almost crazy but it’s true, my friend often compares me to a summer flower that wilt immediately after not getting enough sun like a Petunia or a Vinca…. I have suffered with this for years and I hate myself for not learning how to deal with it better. Really something as simple as just turning the light on in my house when it starts getting dark will help with it. However, that doesn’t work with everyone, Some people suffer pretty bad from Seasonal Affective Disorder this is simply defined as a depression that is centered around a certain time of year, usually fall and can carry on through winter that will case you to lose energy & making you feel more moody than normal. This disorder can be treated with phototherapy and /or medication. Phototherapy or Light Therapy is linked to SAD and is basically filling your life with a light box that gives off the most natural of man-made light. It is thought to create brain chemicals that can help with mood just like regular sun light can.
I have not ever had to buy a light box or be medicated for this however I have found ways to adapt my life through the years as soon as I identify that I am having a problem. It usually happens for me about the same time of year, I loose my desire to do anything but sleep and while I know something is wrong it usually takes me a couple of weeks to adapt and get out of my funk. First thing I do is turn on the lights in my house!! In the summer I don’t have to turn the lights on at all unless I stay up later than my family or past 10pm to work on things. As fall approaches it becomes dark at 4pm sometimes especially when it’s overcast and I feel like shutting down… however if I turn the lights on in the house I’m more apt to continue moving and doing the things that need to be done. I also start setting daily goals and making lists of things I want to accomplish in each week and day. These are called coping & distress tolerance skills.
I have noticed that feeling productive really helps and is important when dealing with this anxiety of this nature. My biggest thing is writing a list of what I want done and not being able to do it in a day and feeling overwhelmed and feeling like I will never get it all done. So I feel like I could just curl up and sleep away my feelings. Which is really hard when you have little kids who rely on you all the time. It is very easy to look at everything collectively and feel overwhelmed. I’m a huge list person so I try to make a list and prioritize it & decide what I have to get done each day and what things can wait till tomorrow.
Unfortunately, for me getting to this point of ‘coping’ takes time. I usually have to have a melt down of some point with lots of tears before I figure out what is wrong. Thankfully I have friends and family that identify it before I do and start ‘pushing’ me towards the coping skills before I even realize I need them.
I have noticed on the days I have pushed myself to exercise I have felt tons better throughout the day, I have remembered to do extra things and not felt as scatter brained and even remembered to turn on the lights before it got dark outside. There is A LOT to be said for exercise and positive reinforcement with regard to mental health.
I’m currently taking a deep breath!! Halloween and costume making is over (My Mario, Luigi & Toadstool where a BIG HIT) and my list of things to accomplish is slowly getting smaller… now onto the 8 weeks before Christmas 🙂
Identify your ‘anx’ or anxiety and find coping skills to tolerate it, if you can’t get a handle on it you may need to talk to a doctor & don’t be ashamed there’s nothing at all wrong with seeking help especially when you know there is something wrong.