Tag Archives: SAD

So Basic

This is an admission of sorts. The kind of thing that I am owning up to in the hopes that someone else can benefit from my honesty.

It’s no secret that I am struggling this winter with Seasonal Affective Disorder. One component of it that is driving me completely crazy is my inability to focus. It is something that plagues me at times, but this is a whole new level of it. Mornings are the worst. When the morning goes wrong, the whole day heads south – where I wish I was.

On and off, for many years I have turned to Flylady.net and Side Tracked Home Executives for tools, tips & resources to manage my day – and my life. There were times when I adhered to their advice and models very strictly and these things saved my life. I have learned habits and behaviors that have stuck with me and carried me through some very rough patches. Lately, I’ve reinstated many routines and I have begun using a very basic list.

DSC09059 (1)My list is the same every morning. It is laminated and I use a dry erase marker to cross off my tasks. Sitting in front of my therapy light, re-starting the laundry, unloading the dishwasher, getting some form of exercise and getting dressed to my shoes are all on my list. There are others. Some are too pathetic to mention – but they need to get done. These tasks are things, that through trial and error, I have identified as tasks that start the ball rolling in the right direction and I seem to be able to gain some momentum.

If you can do the basics easily and as a matter of habit – good for you! If you are someone who finds yourself in your pjs at noon with not a whole lot crossed of your ‘to-do-list’ – AND YOU LIKE IT THAT WAY – carry on 🙂 But, if you are in my boat – and I know I am not alone – and you could use a little hand holding to pull you through the mundane mornings of life – make yourself a list and cross things off it like your life depends on it.

Because sometimes it does.

I’m SAD

No, I’m not going to complain again, but it’s my blog and it’s my prerogative.

I have recently been diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s not a surprise. It’s always been tough – this year is the toughest it’s ever been. I saw it coming. It’s like a switch was flipped – because in the summer I’m nailin’ it – but now I feel nailed to the floor. The good news is that I am not going to stay here. I just can’t.

I am employing a mufti-faceted approach to battle this ugly, black dog. It is a most difficult challenge when your concentration is poor, attention is short, and mood is low. My doctor made several recommendations, as well as dear friends, and some are helping already. Protein is my friend, and sugar is most likely the enemy 🙁 A several mile walk lifts my mood and soothes frayed nerves immediately. I have my hands on some books that have solid nutritional advice and I’ve never felt so strongly about a vitamin before! I felt its effects the first day I took it 🙂

I’ve also gotten myself a therapist. She is super shiny and meets me in the kitchen.

DSC07776 (1) DSC07778 (1)That’s right – 10,000 lux of goodness. It’s an effective treatment for SAD with a well-established track record. I sit with my light at the recommended distance while I read, watch the news and drink a cup of coffee for 15-30 minutes first thing in the morning. The light needs be pointing passively into your eyes, without looking directly into it. The forced sitting still might be good for me too. I have to admit – I am feeling positive effects of this rather quickly, as well. Sleep, oh how it eluded me!

I recognize that there is truly a chemical change in my brain when the sun leaves the summer sky for me. Like I said, it’s like someone flipped a switch – or at least took my sunny orb of happiness. But, I believe there are lots of good ways to fight the winter blues that threaten to side track my holidays, my marriage, my relationship with my kids, my productivity and generally being able to be happy.

Bring on the Serotonin! Please.

I have friends who have done some really nice things for me recently – from bringing a gift bag full of relaxing teas and treats to providing me with lots of info and research that they have already done on SAD and depression or sending me encouraging words

~ thank you!