It happens every year no matter how hard I plan for it or try to prevent it, Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD). After a wonderful holiday season and great expectations going into the new year, I am hit with it. This year doesn’t help due to the number of gray days. Damp, cold, depressing weather that makes you want to do nothing but hibernate. I truly understand why some animals just stay in their dens until spring.
Signs Of SAD
For me it starts with fatigue, mentally and physically exhausted. I don’t want to do …. anything. I barely have the energy to get a shower each day. Then it progresses into the need to just be alone. People and friends are like white noise, grating on my nerves. I LOVE my family and friends!!!! But I just need to be alone. Next, I lose my sense of focus. I can’t concentrate, have no desire to complete or start anything, even losing my sense of day and time. But the weirdest thing is all I want to do is sleep. The other day I slept for 13 hours. Heck, I haven’t got more than 5 hours of sleep a night since, well… this time last year. The worst is all the negative thoughts and feeling the blues. I am a super positive person, I am the cheerleader, I am the encourager. At times I am just overcome with negative thoughts and feelings and it drags me down like drowning in the ocean.
One of the best things I have done is to acknowledge that this is a problem I have this time of year and it will go away. I just don’t need to give in to it, I need to work with it. There are many things I can do to help get through this time period. Talking with others is one of the best things you can do. What you find is that many people are suffering the same as you. Misery loves company is so true in this case. Sharing helpful hints is a great way to find the right solution to help you navigate this very short period of time.
Giving Permission To Hibernate
There is a reason animals hibernate in the winter. The weather is harsh and they need to conserve energy. Like the animals, we need to conserve energy and
What Does Hibernation Look Like
For me, on those cold nasty days, I like to put on my comfy clothes and wrap up in my fuzzy cheetah print blanket. I will spend my day binge-watching Netflix/Hulu/Amazon Prime/Acorn TV/BritBox. The Great British Baking Show is quickly becoming one of my favorites. If you have not watched The Fabulous Miss Maizel on Amazon Prime you are truly missing out. For those who like murder mysteries, Midsomer Murders has 20 seasons of binge worth watching.
If I am not watching tv, I am curled up with a mug of hot tea and a good book. I literally have a library worth of re-reads. Love pulling out my books and hunting thru to find something to pass the day away. I just finished the entire series of Anne Of Green Gables, again.
During my hibernation I fill up on hearty soups and stews. Lots of hot teas and I give myself permission to have something sweet. If not, I will crave it all day until I have it. I try to limit my coffee intake to just the morning.
Some of my favorite hibernation activities include long naps and long hot baths. I love to grab the pups and snuggle up on the couch for a long winter’s nap. It is some of the best sleep I have and truly therapeutic. After a long day of doing nothing, it is a treat for me to have a nice hot bath with scented Epsom salts. I spend time soaking with a nice facial mask on. I like to light the candles and dim the lights and do…. nothing. After my
Think Of Hibernation As Temporary And Therapeutic
Just like the animals, our period of hibernation is temporary and therapeutic. As the days get longs and the sun starts to shine, I want to venture outside to enjoy the sun. When spring comes, and it comes early in the south, I will be ready for all the projects and gardening. Fully energized both physically and mentally. Yes the weight will come off, yes, the chores and projects will get done. But if I try to force it, the guilt and sadness overwhelms me. By giving myself permission to hibernate, I am giving my body and mind a well deserved rest. It is truly therapeutic.