Remember, remember… that one day in September when everything just stopped making sense and my motivation decided to move to a warmer country for the winter. The trees are losing their leaves, I’m losing the willpower to get out of bed in the morning. Sure, I’m as excited for cosy evenings and chunky knitwear as the next person, but the excitement can be and is very often covered by thick clouds of self-doubt and quite literally rainy mood. If you didn’t get that, well, let’s say I tend to cry a lot. So the world is entering this stunning phase of incredible colours and people shouting ‘I can see my breath!” every morning, whilst my mind is entering the world of self-doubt and SAD.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (or most commonly known as SAD) is a type of mental disorder that tends to make people feel depressed and anxious when the season changes from sunny and hot to dark and rainy. It doesn’t only mean that you find it difficult to get out of the warmth of your bed into the darkness of cold 6am starts. For me, it means that I don’t want to get out of my room, the thought of going out fills me with anxiety and putting on another layer of clothing makes me cry. I also tend to sleep 12h every night and still feel tired and unmotivated during the day. Hence why I’ve been quite absent on social media and my blog since the start of September.
With everyone rambling on about Halloween, hot chocolate and Christmas on all online platforms I feel a bit left out in the blogging world, to say the least. I adore the hot weather and long evenings. I can’t live without ice cream and suntan. Spring fills me with such tremendous joy each year that I start opening the windows and ditching thick coats in March already. It quite literally pumps new life into me.
Don’t get me wrong, I do love autumn and Christmas is my favourite time of the year and I am super excited for all of that the colder months have to bring. But I love it for a shorter period of time than most people. The rest of the time I feel a crippling feeling of self-doubt rushing over me telling me I amount to nothing, I eat my stress and begin to hate myself even more. Most of the time I feel incredibly burned out despite not actually achieving anything or ticking anything off my to-do list which gets longer every day. Because sure, I can light all of the candles in my house but that’s not going to make me get anything done. It would most likely make me climb on the sofa with a cup of hot milk with honey (don’t ask) and binge-watch some sort of TV series.
Finding motivation in times like this can be incredibly difficult. For one, it’s bloody freezing anywhere outside of the comfort of my duvet. And I don’t work well from bed – that’s my curse, what can I say. My brain feels all foggy and frozen just like the weather outside. I literally live in my blankets and the hot water bottle might as well be glued to me permanently. So how can I come up with anything better than “Shall we watch Harry Potter tonight?” whispered to my stuffed frog friend? I have to say he has never said no so far. Unfortunately for most of us, we can’t hibernate through winter and wake up sometime in March feeling refreshed and ready to kick everyone’s behind.
What can we do? Apart from feeling sorry for yourself (my favourite pastime) we can make our environments SAD friendly. Fill your room/flat/house with lots of light, stock up on your favourite bath products and feel-good books. Find good motivational podcasts. Speak to your family and/or friends about how you feel and ask for help. And if that’s not enough, read my post on how to stay motivated when it’s constantly dark outside here.
If you think you may be suffering from SAD, don’t be afraid to ask for help. It’s a medical condition recognised by specialists and there are loads of people out there who can help you. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone – and there is a way to get through it. After all, spring is going to come again, right?
Until next time xx
How do you feel during the colder months?