“Those who expect moments of change to be comfortable and free of conflict have not learned their history.”
~ Joan Wallach Scott ~
Hello, All! Welcome back to “Mindfulness Monday ☮️ Make a Change”, and the month of December. Welcome to the change in weather, Big Time!
A large group of people within the mental health community suffer from (SAD), Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is a disorder that packs a punch to our mood something fierce.
What are some of the symptoms of (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder?
For no apparent reason, your energy drops like a balloon filled with bricks. Most people with a mental illness will not only feel mental fatigue, but we can also feel the physical drainage and/or pain as well, sluggish, and weighed down. It seems like one little chore exhausts us and we require to lay down like a lump of nothing.
Not that I’m the most social person on the face of this planet, but there are people out there that are, and one of the symptoms of (SAD), is to shut down not only by means of socializing but a loss of interest in things such as hobbies and daily routine activities. Basically, the loss of interest in anything really hits hard. It can also affect our self-care routine rather hard as well.
Concentration and Focus:
This is something that literally does the most damage to me. My brain reacts to the dullness and lack of sun outside. It’s almost as if I’ve gone stupid overnight when the season drastically changes. Loss of memory, concentration and focus all goes out the window. The inability to make the simplest of decisions is like taking an exam.
Sleep, Too Much? Too Little?:
Changes in sleep patterns affect me starting in late September. I literally can go either way. Sleep too much, (hypersomnia), or… My all-time favorite (NOT), sleeping less and less, (Insomnia). The normal amount of sleep we all require is at least 8 hours of sleep. Personally speaking, I sleep roughly 2-3 of disturbed sleep. This means I wake up throughout that 2-3 hours of sleep. Which leads me to either taking a nap during the day for an hour to boost me back to somewhat normal or the worst scenario, I don’t nap at all, then I (What I call, “Crash”). A crash is when I sleep for nearly an entire day. Either way is not healthy.
Attitude and No Clue:
When (SAD) affects me, I feel deflated. It’s like forcing myself to smile. I won’t have to have a reason for feeling so low, but I do, and I don’t know why. I get mad at myself for not knowing why I feel miserable. Nothing changed around me to feel this way, but I haven’t a clue as to why I just want to shut down. It’s a hopeless feeling because I don’t want to be this way, but how do I break free from the dark cloud over my head?
Granted, I already have chronic pain as it is, but oh, my Gawd! It amplifies this time of year. Every portion of my body aches, or twinges. Bones, muscles, everything. My mom and I joke around calling it “Rice Crispy, snap, crackle, and pop!”, maybe if we added some marshmallows to the mix, we wouldn’t hurt so much. (Yeah, imagine that).
Need I say anything about that? My eyes roll so much, I’m surprised they don’t fall out of my head. I become agitated quite quickly, my patience is nil, and I have no way of hiding what I refer to as, “Permanent Bitch Face” – My expression of how I feel cannot be hidden at all. I almost wish I was like a Mr. or Mrs. Potatoe Head. I would be able to change my expression so much easier then. LOL!
Let me just put it this way… Nothing is sacred, I’ll eat Peanuts food if he would share. Weight gain is a huge factor in (SAD), for me, mind you. I won’t generalize it towards all people who have (SAD). I’m a huge fan of “Comfort Foods”, cravings, etc… Then by the time, March rolls around, I fall into the regret phase of, “OMG! How did this happen?”, and try to lose weight, but it’s so damn hard.
For me, I become quite restless and unnerved. The hibernation feeling for months starts to affect me and I become quite jittery. My mind starts racing more than normal and it’s a bit harder to turn it off.
So, I’ve given you a list of symptoms to (SAD) Seasonal Affective Disorder. Can you relate to any of them? Do you believe that you suffer from (SAD)?
If you feel that you can relate to at least half of what I’ve listed, I’m going to share some suggestions and advice in order to fight (SAD) this season. I’ve decided to make this a 2 part segment of symptoms and ideas in which we can fight this together. However, instead of waiting for an entire week passing by and having you wait, I will share some of these ideas with you tomorrow.
Maybe, We can share what works for us as individuals to fight (SAD). Maybe, we can retrain our brain. We can at least try it, right?
To Be Continued, 12/3/2019…
Thank you for reading.
Take Care & God Bless,
Picture Credit: Unsplash.com ~ Jamie Templeton, Pinterest.