So I'm sitting here on my couch, finally home from holidays, and I'm realizing I've been having major writers block the last month or so. Do you ever complete a task and feel as though it's not up to your normal standards? That's how I feel about my last couple blog posts. The more I think about it, the more I realize it's because of the funk I'm in.
I LOVE the holiday season. I mean LOVE. My tree is always up right after Remembrance Day, I'm starting to decorate, my house smells like cinnamon and nutmeg, I'm binging on eggnog and spiced rum, blasting Michael Buble's Christmas CD, and watching Elf nonstop.
Now, the crap part of the holiday season is the beginning of winter. Sure, I don't mind the first snowfall and the crisp air. It's very Canadian and winter in my new town smells like campfire and light snow.
Winter brings on darkness. Dark when I get up at 8am and pitch black at 4:30pm. It's a HUGE adjustment. I truly believe the darkness affects everyone, mental illness or not. But for those of us who struggle with depression, it's something we dread.
As the winter comes, I've become lethargic and unmotivated. I have to work my slightly larger than average butt off to keep myself from falling into the sinking hole of depression. I've noticed myself becoming more moody than usual, lashing out a little bit at my fiance. I'm embarrassed admitting this, but I keep telling myself that the fact that I recognize this is the first step to fixing it.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression/mood disorder that is related to changes in seasons. SAD affects all people from all walks of life, but between 60%-90% of people who deal with SAD are women. With most people, it begins in the winter and ends in the spring. But there are cases where people develop SAD during the summer.
The good news is that there is hope for some. Light therapy has proven to work for 95% of those who have tried it. Light therapy is done by using a light box between 30 minutes to an hour each morning. It works by simulating sunlight. My advice to any light box lookers is to talk to your therapist or psychologist first. They will be able to give you proper instructions and recommend a brand to you. There are certain brands of light boxes out there that can be damaging to the eyes, specifically the ones at Costco, so please be aware :)
I've been able to push through winters previously just by doing cognitive therapy. Now that I've moved to BC and it is darker here earlier, I'm looking at investing in a light box. Some days I feel like I want to curl up into a ball and just not care, but I know I need to push through and find things such as a light box to cope and live a happy life.