Guest Blogger Spotlight #WellnessWednesday “My Seasonal Affective Disorder” by Sophia Garner

I’ve always dreaded the winter months, literally since I can remember. The thought of it getting colder, wetter and darker just makes me want to hibernate.

I first remember feeling the dread of winter back at high school, when you’d look outside the classroom window and it was already getting dark before the final bell. The thought of walking home in the dark would make me want to stay at school! Even worse than the dark evenings, was the terribly cold and miserable mornings. I would find it almost unbearable to drag myself out of bed, which I and other people around me usually put down to me just being lazy!

However, I barely slept under normal circumstances. So being able to sleep for hours and hours, especially during the day was a little unusual. I would tend to feel very down, grumpy and irritable throughout the colder months. I also started to notice I had very little to no energy, which again felt unusual as I was sleeping a lot more than I ever normally would.

It took a really difficult winter, during my first year of university, for me to think about seeing a doctor. In all honesty I thought they were going to send me away and say I was just being a moody teenager, who likes her sleep when it’s cold outside. However, how wrong I was, surprisingly! The doctor asked me a variety of questions, ranging from my general eating pattern, my exercise routine, to my feelings during seasonal shifts. In the end, I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD for short, ironic huh!?

Seasonal Affective Disorder

When I told my friends and family, they all seemed to suspect something similar, little did I realise how much my behaviour and mood was apparent to those around me. I started to change my habits during winter. I would try and go to sleep at a reasonable time to make sure I knew I was getting a good amount of sleep. I’d also make sure to wake up at the same time each morning, trying to get myself into a pattern, which started to become a habit and helped my body get used to waking up at a certain time. My doctor told me how important it was to be outside during times when it was daylight. So during university I used to try and study or read outside when the weather permitted.

Another SAD treatment, which has been hugely important for me, was light therapy. I was given an amazing present, a Lumie Bodyclock Starter which helps wake you up with a natural, gradually brightening light. It also does this in reverse with a sunset option, when the light slowly dims from your chosen time.

It’s still not fully understood what causes SAD or why some people experience it and others don’t. Although, it has been suggested that certain people are more vulnerable to SAD than others, due to their genes, as it has appeared to run in families. Like any diagnoses it can be a little scary to think you’re labelled with a disorder. I was definitely taken aback when my doctor told me. However, I’ve learnt it’s all about knowledge and management.

#SAD #Winter #SeasonalDisorders #MentalHealth #Health #WinterBlues

The reassuring thing is that there has now been lots of research done into trying to find ways of helping. That’s why I cannot stress enough how important it is to go and speak to a doctor if you think this may be something that is affecting you. Without speaking about things, you may never know any different and could be missing out on being able to feel so much better than you do now.

I spent my Sunday evening dreading the week ahead and I woke up this morning dreading getting out of bed. However, I eased myself into the very dark morning with my Lumie light and made myself a comforting cuppa tea. I’ll be making sure to eat healthy today and do some exercise before getting an early night. It’s time to start learning what works for you, and doing it, to start to feel more like you!

If you’re concerned or even just curious to find out a little more about SAD, please take a look at the NHS website and Click Here.

This is part two of the #WellnessWednesday Blogger series. This week’s topic is Seasonal Affective Disorder from the perspective of Sophia Garner.

About the Author:

Cuppa tea with Soph is written by Sophia; a twenty-something, animal loving, pasta eating, ale drinking, petite Northern girl.

She is obsessed with animals; fluffy, prickly, scaley and anything in between. She’s determined to have a farm by the time she retires, whether the Hubby is in agreeance or not. She currently has two pooches: Vixie and Akira. Also, she has a guinea pig: Cashew, two twin kitty-kats: Nala and Simba, AND 10 fishies. (I won’t list all their names, don’t worry)!

She loves writing about:

  • Her many travel adventures.
  • Posting photos of her everyday life.
  • Creating positive content surrounding mental health.

Cuppa tea with Soph was born through her love of writing, her concern for mental health, her inability to put down a camera, and her constant urge to travel.

Check out her blog at https://www.cuppateawithsoph.com/ and
Instagram: @ohsoph_

If you have any #wellnesswednesday articles you’d like me to feature contact me at honeybunnytwee@gmail.com 

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Enders Falls: Snow Bunny Adventure

Today, some members of the ultimate frisbee team and I went to Enders Falls for a hike. I thought we actually had practice so I wore my cleats and brought a water bottle, which was a silly mistake. When the two captains arrived I saw them bring sleds out of the car. In my head I was like, “But… where are the frisbees?”

I was so underprepared. We sledded down som slopes on campus. After that we spontaneously decided to go hiking by some waterfalls. I ended up dragging my water bottle around in the snow. Thankfully, my cleats counteracted my clumsiness and I didn’t fall often. It was cold, but refreshing and we had a lot of fun! The views at Enders Falls were spectacular, one of the perks of living in New England.

Photos credit goes to our teammate Tiffany Young.

frisbee team enders Falls
The Biddies at Enders Falls
ender falls backs frisbee
Walking in a winter wonderland
sign enders falls
snowy hike nature
instagram.com/meg.a.724/
snowy hike waterfall
2016-02-06 15.44.43

The last photo was mine. However, it was one of my only pictures since my phone was so cold it started to power off on its own. Hiking is very stress-relieving anyways, who needs a phone when you’re in the great outdoors?

Follow my blog to see what I’m up to and tell me where I should go and what I should do next. Also, I’m very open-minded and open to new adventure / events suggestions. Email me at honeybunnytwee@gmail.com.

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