Thursday, 20 September 2012

A Winters Tale

In Winter I feel how this snowman looks!

So it's Autumn - the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness and there are conkers on the floor and the smell of bonfires in the air. But for me I can sense something more sinister around the corner too....the onset of Winter.

I hate Winter.It's not just the bitter cold, the snow and the fact it takes about 30 minutes to get 2 young children dressed and ready to go out. Its also because every Winter I seem to get a terrible case of the Winter Blues. I think this is now known as Seasonal Affective Disorder with its appropriate shortening to SAD.

SAD usually happens between November-April with the darkest months December, January and February being the worst. It starts between the ages of 20-30 and mainly effects women (great!). No one is really sure what causes it but it is thought to be a lack of sunlight which in turn affects your brain and can cause dips in mood.

I can usually get through December as I try to keep busy with the run-up to Christmas but after the festivities are over I seem to crash and burn. I start to feel physically exhausted and my bones literally ache. It also becomes really hard to motivate myself to do anything, so much so that I've actually given up on the pretence of making any new years resolutions as I know that there is pretty much zero change of me being able to keep them. I think it has been even harder since I have had kids as it's not like I can just come home and snooze or sit on the sofa watching old films. I have to be my usual bouncy self in front of the children which in turn makes me feel even more exhausted!

Last January and February were terrible as on top of feeling very gloomy I also had a horrible chest infection and it was literally all I could do to get my little girl to nursery and wheeze back home again to collapse on the bed. I really don't want to feel like that again this year!

I have been to the doctors and they have done various tests for iron deficiency but they usually come back fine if a little low and to be honest the Dr has never been particularly helpful so this year I've decided to try out a few things to help ease the pain of Winter.

Firstly I'm going to try a light box. You can actually get these on prescription but they are fairly reasonable to buy (between £30-50). The idea is that they emit a strong light which helps to convince your brain that it is actually Summer- yay!. You only have to have them on for between 1-2 hours and you can do it whilst you are working at your desk or watching TV. They are meant to have really positive results although there is stills some debate about whether it is actually a placebo effect or not.

I'm also going to start taking some good quality multi-vitimins with iron as I'm sure that I don't get enough nutrient with my normal diet of coffee on the go and marmite on toast!

Finally I'm going to try and get as much fresh air as possible. I am definitely a bit of a wuss when it comes to the cold and I probably don't get out and about as much as I should in the Winter months. I even prefer that dreaded hotbed of germs - soft play -  to going out on a cold day. But, needs much, and as long as there is not an actual blizzard on I'm going to make sure I find time to get out and about.

Hopefully these things will work and I can feel a bit more cheery - even if we do get snowed in. Failing that the only solution will be booking a 4 week holiday to the sun. Now where was my husbands chequebook again..........?

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