I’m probably way too late with this post for many, but it still might be useful for some. By now the impact of “Winter time-saving”and the annual “Putting back ” of our clocks and time pieces will have become very real and possibly challenging for some of us. SAD or Seasonal Affective Disorder, is a major issue for some folks at this time of year. For a long time people were dubious and questioned its very existence. For those whose attitude to mental health is as dated as Still “believing the world to flat”, it has become an opportunity to label SAD sufferers as “Malingerers” or “Softees.”
Add in the complication and complexities of the Covid Pandemic and its no surprise that many are already beginning to feel the stress and hardship of living with this condition.
In the latter yeas of her life, l recall my mother looking out the window of her home and lamenting the forthcoming “long dark days of winter”. Perhaps she knew that the colder damper weather world reduce the number of callers or visitors to her door. She had attached her own ominous beliefs to the phrase “Winter as coming”, long before the epic TV show “Game of Thrones ” immortalised it.
It might have been a case of classical conditioning or perhaps the DNA I inherited, but over the last few years I too have found my own mood changing as the winter approaches. It generally would begin for me in mid-summer, perhaps even as I sat out on a sun-drenched patio. (Wishful thinking I know in Ireland) Usually there was some sort of realisation that it was the 21st July (The shortest day of the year) or that, that date was close at hand. And that was enough to do it for me.
The negative thinking wouild take over. All of a sudden the glass would become half empty and I found myself fighting despair,grief or feelings of another year gone, or worse still, another year lost. My Addictive mindset (that I like to generally offer as an excuse for my faults and failings) would trigger wave after wave of “Black and White” thinking and I find myself abandoning all of the wonderful projects and plans I had made for that summer …. So who says SAD is a winter thing?
I would then regale myself with further shameful thughts. Working as a Counsellor, I shouldn’t have such thoughts and my life should be trouble free. After all what was I trained for? “Physician heal thyself” springs to mind surely? Fear not, I’m not going to go on a guilt trip here, but I do feel the need to share the fact that in my mind the greatest asset any of the human speccies possesses is the gift of self-awareness. If this means having to admit to a frailty or weakness or two then so be it. We are all after all “Perfect in our imperfections.”
In years gone by, I employed various, wide-ranging approaches to counteract the “SAD Virus” that could reap havoc in my world if I allowed it. My “Vaccine” involved trying out various methods of distracting myself from thev torment of SAD.
It might take some time to explore these methods so I would like to discuss them in more detail in my next blog offering. You might actually find some of the ideas useful if you too, need to distract or occupy yourself and your mind, until the days begin to lengthen once more.
So hence this Blog. …
The idea of blogging has always appealed to me so with very little else on offer this winter due to restricted socialisation, I thought I would sign up for the 30 day “#Blog like Crazy” challenge. All I know about this at this stage is that I am required to make a post (Minimum 300 words) to my pre-existing blog “Life Well NI”, for the month of November. Considering this is now the 11th November, I guess I’m doing the “Blog like Crazy – Lite Version”. But as they say, better late than never. There are many free Blog Apps and Sites out there which make this such an incredibly easy thing to do.
Blogging is something I’ve dabbled with in the past, but I have to admit that I’m not in any way experienced or especially talented in this field. However, its new, its creative, its fun and gets you thinking, meeting new challenges and new people.
So as “Winter is Coming”, once again, why not dip a toe into the world of the Blog yourself if you like the idea? To counteract the current restrictions in our lives I am nominating this as my very own “Personal Coping- Method” of choice for this winter.
Please, feel free to comment, share, re-post, join in or interact in whatever you are comfortable with. I’ll be happy to share the journey.