I wrote a few months ago about my aspirations of finding a healthy balance in my life. When I wrote the post I was full of hope and enthusiasm. It felt like spring was just around the corner which made it a perfect time to start. Unfortunately, spring wasn’t quite as close as I’d hoped. In fact, for a long time, its felt like it was never going to come.
This winter has felt like the longest I’ve ever experienced. It felt like the long cold, dark days were going to last forever. Every time I tried to start the week with healthy eating and increasing my exercise, the weather took a turn for the worse. I just wanted to stay in bed and hibernate. The last thing I’ve felt like doing is exercise.
I’m usually the type of person who tries to find the brighter side of things. This winter though, I’ve really struggled. I’ve felt like my get up and go got up and left. Everything has seemed very dark and cold and to get me through that I’ve turned to my usual crutch of food. Every time it felt like the weather was starting to improve, it didn’t and often it got much worse. We live in the North East of England so usually have our fair share of bad weather. It hasn’t seemed as bad as this year though.
When you’re a kid, snow is amazing. I can remember days when our school was closed because of the snow. Back then it was just a big adventure. We had great fun playing out making snowmen without a care in the world. Unfortunately, dealing with snow as an adult isn’t remotely fun if you have to travel to get to work. We live almost at the bottom of a very steep hill. Public transport is at the top of the hill. Our daughter’s nursery is at the bottom of another hill.
The heavy snowfall a few weeks ago tested my coping skills to the limit. Getting to and from work safely was pretty hair raising. On the worst day I ended up having to walk there and back through a blizzard. I was freezing, shattered and reached for comfort food as soon as I got home.
Seasonal affective disorder is something I’ve read about. I’ve never really paid much attention to it and just thought it was a big name for the post Christmas slump most people feel. This year though, I’ve been taking it a lot more seriously. I’ve not been struggling to the extent that I’ve needed to get advice from my GP, but I’ve been experiencing a lot more low moods than I have ever done in the past. I do think that’s been down to the weather. My mood is definitely lighter and brighter when the sun is out.
This page on the NHS website provides a lot of helpful advice and information about SAD. It’s something that will be on my radar next winter so that I can try and avoid feeling so down again.
For now, spring is definitely trying it’s best to push her way through. I’m intending to make the most of the lighter and longer days and the warmer weather to kick start my quest to find a happy, healthy balance.