Wellness Wednesday: My Seasonal Affective Disorder by Sophia Garner

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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18 thoughts on “Wellness Wednesday: My Seasonal Affective Disorder by Sophia Garner

  1. Getting a proper diagnosis makes such a positive difference in people’s lives as it helps focus on the correct tretment. Good that you’ve found what helps.

  2. I was concerned about SAD as well and got myself one of those light therapy lights that sits on my office desk. I live int he northeastern part fo the US so winters here can be pretty cold and dreary. SAD is a serious condition that most people push off as being something else. Very informative post.

  3. The sunrise and sunset clock sounds like something I need! I struggle a lot with energy during the winter. Whenever it’s dark outside or rainy/snowy I just want to curl up in bed. Therefore, it’s really hard for me to wake up in the morning when it’s still dark outside no matter what time I go to bed.

  4. It is always quite scary getting a new diagnosis, but probably less scary than living with a problem without getting a diagnosis. I’m glad you’re finding solutions to help the disorder. I think most people feel a difference in mood when Spring brings brighter weather and more daylight, but SAD is on another level. It can’t be easy.

  5. Sunshine and vitamin D make everything better. While I don’t have SAD, I am vitamin D deficient this time of year and do have a prescription for it. The lack of sunshine in NE Ohio in the winter is downright depressing.

  6. In most cases, seasonal affective disorder symptoms appear during late fall or early winter and go away during the sunnier days of spring and summer. Less commonly, people with the opposite pattern have symptoms that begin in spring or summer. In either case, symptoms may start out mild and become more severe as the season progresses.Thanks for bringing this up

  7. Having lived most of my life in Southern Europe, I never experienced disorders linked to lack of light.. But during my first winter in Northern Europe, I couldn’t believe how sad and low energy the lack of brightness mad me feel!! Unbelievable. I adjusted then, so nothing permanent for me, but I understand now I bad that can be. Thanks for sharing !

  8. Every winter I feel like I suffer from this a bit myself and last year was a bad one as it stuck with me for most of the year, it was just a feeling I couldn’t shake. This article makes it very understandable and it is well written.

  9. I do feel like I might struggle with this in the winter too (and moreso this year than any other I can remember). I might need to look into it. Thank you for sharing your experience!

  10. I love winter because of only one reason, I love the snow and the magical sceneries it creates. What I hate is the long hours of darkness and the vicious wind when it blows. I think this season hits people who struggle emotionally especially those suffering with S.A.D.

  11. I feel better if I am at work in winter, as I dont get to see the sunlight much in my office. The artificial light works well for me to keep the low mood away in winter.

  12. There is something to be said for going to the doctor and getting a diagnosis. Like, we’re not as crazy as we think or expect people to view us as. I’m so glad you were able to do that and start creating better habits to help yourself. For me, I can work in the winter easily, since I blog. It’s easy to sit down, focus, and sort of hibernate in my own little bubble. The problem is that I don’t want to do anything else. No exercise, no motivation to go out, or anything like that.

  13. I’m in Ohio and the last 3-4 months have been a real drag. As a marathoner and hiker and hater of all things cold, it’s really put a damper on my fun! (and my weight!). Now my husband wants to move to Seattle for a job opportunity! I don’t even want to get started on that topic!

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