Allow me to shine a light on your darkness! My experience of SAD or low winter mood

Joss and I popped out last night at 6:30, we went to the shops and came back at 7pm and our walk back looked like this (but less fuzzy, you try pushing a pram full of shopping and taking a photo!):


And yesterday, a dull and grey day, was like this:


Most people find it harder to get going in the winter, the days get shorter, as does the hours of sunlight and whether its the lack of melatonin/seratonin or the body’s circadian rhythm (your body uses the sun to time various important biological processes, including your mood, sleep, appetite, digestion and energy levels) it can leave us all feeling a bit, well, blah.

A few years ago I started to notice a pattern and so did my GP, during the winter I’d suffer from low mood and irritability, oversleeping and finding it hard to get started for the day. I have tried lots of things to combat this, lots of healthy food and getting out for walks during the day makes a difference, I love a crisp walk in the snow because of how the light reflects, but nothing has had as much of an impact as my lightbox. I pop it on for a few hours a day, it took some time to get used to it, not least of all because I have to avoid mirrors when it is in the room as it’s not a terribly flattering light, but the strong lights mimic that of the summer sun and for me it has made a difference to my mood. I get it out of the cupboard in October and it stays here until February. The blog post title is something Mr B says to me when I’ve forgotten to use the light for a day or two, I do sometimes need a reminder, but I now pop it on whilst blogging, doing uni work or cleaning the kitchen so it’s become a bit of a habit. My GP is sympathetic, he likened the dip in mood to hibernation, that humans too have a desire to hole up for winter, and some would rather just bed down and sleep through it until the sun comes out again. Well, as my work and family life is about more than just gathering nuts to see us through the frost that’s not really an option, so a sunlamp, mince and dumplings and hot toddy might have to just do!


So here’s a bit more light after a bit of a grey post, my bright eyed girl in her winter scarf, I do like to wrap up warm, winter woolens, wellies and walks are a great boost alongside the sunlamp!


Do you have any tips for getting through the long dull days?

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