Now that summer is over and the days are getting shorter, SAD is starting to kick my arse. Getting out of bed in the morning is harder, especially as it is now dark when my alarm goes off, which makes the fact that I don't sleep well even worse. I feel tired and unmotivated much of the time, which isn't helpful when I'm trying to be more active and workout regularly. My ADD is in full swing, setting off my anxiety and generally leaving me feeling like I need to do things but I don't want to do things and I'm too tired to move.
So basically, SAD is a lot of fun for me and those around me. I'm trying to cope with it though, using some tried and tested methods, as well as new ones. Here's how I'm trying to work through SAD and some ideas that could help you:
Starting my morning with light
While there's some people who say SAD lamps aren't really effective, I couldn't get on without mine. My husband can always tell when I haven't started off my day with it as my mood can be very low and I'm exhausted - as well as being fairly snappy. I genuinely think my SAD would be a lot worse if I didn't have my lamp.
This is going to be a lot harder to do when the weather gets worse, so I'm trying to make the most of the dry days while I can. I'm hoping that a dose of sunshine in Spain is going to help me next month too, although coming back to Leeds in October is going to be painful!
All of this is easier said than done and I've let my routine lapse this last week, which has left me feeling down and tired this weekend. I'm hoping to pick myself up this coming week, although I have another band fill on Tuesday, which leaves me in a bit of pain and will be far too easy an excuse for being lazy. I'm determined to push myself though.
Avoiding trigger food
While there are certain things I can't eat - white bread and even some brown breads are impossible for me, as is too many chips or roasties - items like chocolate can still be eaten with ease, so I have to stop falling back into bad habits. This is why I've been stocking up on fruit and vegetables, as well as making things like houmous from scratch. Not only does preparing healthy foods keep me from sugary and fatty snacks, it also keeps me occupied.
This does mean that the cookie jar is having to stay empty but I'm pretty sure the husband has his own stash in the games room.
Plenty of water
I'm trying really hard to make myself drink more water throughout the day, which helps keep my mood up and stops me reaching for unhealthy foods - although the odd biscuit gets enjoyed at work. This is easier said than done as a glass of water leaves me full for ages and it tastes really boring, but I'm slowly increasing the amount I drink.
If you're finding that you're struggling with SAD, NHS Choices has some good tips. You may also want to talk to your GP if you're finding it hard to deal with.