Tis the most wonderful time of the year …
My pretty tree is twinkling in the corner of the room …
It’s Christmas in a few days and I get to celebrate as a family of three this year – which makes my heart so happy.
So why am I in a ‘funk’ that I just can’t pull myself out of?
I’ve been feeling like this for a few weeks. I’m tired – which makes sense as my baby still gets up twice a night, but this is more than that. My head feels heavy. I’m lethargic. I’m weepy on and off. I have no energy and no zest to do anything. I feel useless – both as a mum and a human. Oh and I am clumsy as hell! (No idea if it’s related or I am just, erm, clumsy).
The little things are stressing me out. And I mean the really little things ….. the washing pile, the presents that still need wrapping and the emails that I need to reply to.
In the grand scheme of things I really don’t have much to complain about or stress over, but I just feel pretty ‘meh’.
I told my mum I was feeling this way and she casually remarked “You feel like this at this time every year”. And she’s right.
Rationally I shouldn’t feel like this. I LOVE Christmas. And I love being all snuggly at home.
But I don’t think my body or my mind loves the dark afternoons, especially stuck indoors with a ten month old who has the attention span of a baby gnat.
So I looked up SAD syndrome. Which isn’t just the syndrome of being sad by the way! Although, a pretty good description.
SAD is Seasonal Affective Disorder – here’s a bit from the NHS website;
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern.
SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are more apparent and tend to be more severe during the winter.
The symptoms often begin in the autumn as the days start getting shorter. They’re typically most severe during December, January and February.
SAD often improves and disappears in the spring and summer, although it may return each autumn and winter in a repetitive pattern.
Symptoms of SAD
Symptoms of SAD can include:
a persistent low mood
a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
I know people will read this and suggest I see my GP, but to be honest I’d feel like a total fraud. It’s not a major issue, just something I am acknowledging about myself during the winter months. This blog is also just a recognition of the fact that I think this syndrome really exists and you know me – I like to talk about the honest stuff!
But I am toying with the idea of getting myself a special light box which is supposed to help. Jay laughed when I mentioned it, until he realised that I was serious. I think he pictured me just huddled around our lamp in the corner of the living room, rocking quietly.
All I know is that I can’t wait for the days to be longer and lighter as I know I will feel better and more like myself. I hate lacking energy, it’s just not me.
I’d be interested to hear if you’ve experienced or been diagnosed with SAD Syndrome? Especially if you’ve used light therapy. Let me know in the comments below.
And here’s to Spring 2016 hurrying up, so I can get back out on long walks in the afternoon with my gorgeous baby boy and ancient dog, Isla.