All of the signs are there: I’m wearing Uggs – my sparkly, much loved Fitflops are now consigned to the ‘shoe-coat jungle’ under the stairs.
My Boy’s cosy, too-big-for-me hoodie has become my new best friend and on my desk sits not the healthy smoothie and salad combi that had become my fave lunchtime nibble for the last few months. No. Today, on my desk is evil personified – a huge bar of chocolate so enticing in its smooth golden wrapper, that I want to shove it down my cake-pipe (as little Angel calls it) and munch until I vomit.
Apart from the comfort food and cosy attire, there are other signs, such as pressing the ignore button on my Blackberry when my phone rings – can’t be bov’d to answer and have a jolly chat. And I’m also finding it impossible not to slope from my work desk to the too-close-to-resist sofa early in the afternoon. So, what are these all signs of? S.A.D – which stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or Shitty And Depressing more like it.
I’ve just returned from a fabulous weekend away to sunny Spain with my sister where we lazed on the beach and drank Sangria…and Cava and beer and wine and…well, we don’t get away together much so we were celebrating! And as I stepped on the plane back to London, I tried to come to terms with the heinous fact that I probably wouldn’t be seeing the sun for at least 6 months, so I’d better find a few ways of coming to terms with it. Here are a few things I’m going to try – if you feel your inner glow disappearing with the sunshine you might like to join me…
- Hard though it is to resist that coffee that I love, stimulants like tea, coffee and caffeinated drinks can put the adrenal glands (which help you deal with anxiety and stress) on high alert, making you more stressed than before. So, I’m going to cut down my caffeine and try some tasty herb and fruit teas such as Rosehip, high in Vitamin C which is good for the immune system, skin and adrenal function. After the excesses of my Spanish break, It might be worth having a few slugs of Milk Thistle and Dandelion tea as well – it’s a natural liver cleanser.
- I’d better try to switch that Toblerone for foods rich in omega 3 essential fatty acids such as oily fish, brown rice, Avocados, beans and bananas. These are said to help increase the brain chemical, seratonin which gives you a natural happy high. Then again, don’t panic too much because a couple of pieces of chocolate will also give you a little seratonin fix and release those mood boosting endorphins. But just remember the mantra…a little of what you fancy does you good and don’t O.D on Dairy Milk else you’ll feel sick. And get fat. And that will make you feel even worse!
- Vitamin D is a feel good nutrient produced in the body by sunlight on the skin. You’ll be hard pressed to get much of that in our British winter, so take a supplement or get your quota through eating fish, eggs and fortified cereal.
- Even though I feel like a sleepy slug, I know exercise is one of the best ways of feeling and looking good inside and out, so I shall make the most of my canine ‘personal trainer’ Troy – who drags me to the park as fast as he can and helps blow away those doom and gloom cobwebs.
- I think I’m going to invest in a SAD busting light like one of these which comes on very slowly (imitating sunrise) allowing your body to subconsciously respond to the increased light levels around you so that you wake up feeling refreshed. Supposedly. I’ll let you know when I’ve tried it, but if it’s good enough to help the British Swimming team get into a freezing cold pool to train at 5am, it’s good enough to get me out of my pit to screech at the family.
If you’ve got any tips to make these dark, cold days any more bearable, please do share…just don’t expect me to share my Toblerone. Thanks.
And here’s a show tune to cheer us all up!