Tag Archives: seasonal depression

The bear comes out of hibernation

The snow and ice have melted and the local falls are roaring

The snow and ice have melted and the local falls are roaring

Depression is a difficult thing to live with and keep under control. Managing my mood is part of my daily maintenance that I have to keep ahead of. Sometimes it’s hard to wear all those hats of who I am – mother, daughter, community member, social worker, social justice advocate, writer…depressive.

I have written before about my struggles with S.A.D. but I have recently come to realize that my depression has so much more to it than just the season. I suppose moving back to where I grew up has made me see that and although it has been hard to face, I think it is better for me to deal with it and work on my personal healing in my home community.

I went through a pretty dark depressive episode this winter. I haven’t felt that way in years and it scared me. Depression is something that has haunted me since my early twenties and I think there has always been a part of me that has feared the darkness overcoming me again. I’m feeling better now, but I realize that taking care of myself has to be my top priority.

It’s not all doom and gloom though. I feel like I am coming out of the other side of the depression tunnel and things are looking up. I love my new job. It took some time to find my niche and fit in, but now I am feeling comfortable and I have some great ideas and projects to work on. One of the most exciting things about my job is that I have an opportunity to write for the community newsletter and I’m hoping to get an agency blog started. It’s not a big deal really, but it’s something that makes me feel good and well, I’m a writer at heart so any chance to share my writing is welcome.

Moving my family out of the city to a small town has been harder than I thought it would be. But all in all, everything is good. The kids are happy, I have a job that I love and the long winter is finally over. Spring has arrived.

I’m looking forward to doing some spring cleaning and finding happiness in the simplicity of daily life.

Follow me on Instagram: @bearheartwoman

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Random happiness

A few days ago, I had the afternoon off from work yesterday so I could run some errands. As should be expected when applying for government records and documents, things didn’t go as planned and it turned out to be quite a stressful afternoon. I wasn’t able to get anything completed. Instead of getting upset about it, I decided to try again the next day, and go pick my kids up from school since I was in the neighbourhood. It’s such a rare thing that I pick them up. They usually get picked up by their After School Club.

At this time of year, we never get home while it’s still daylight. It’s dark and looks like ten o’clock at night when we open our door. But yesterday since we were off early, I decided to go for a drive down to the lake for sunset. We drove, sang along to some music and joked around on the way there. My daughter remarked that I was in a very good mood and that my “Happy Lamp must be working”. I’ve been using it every morning for the last few weeks or so, and I hadn’t really paid much attention to whether it was making a difference or not. It was almost like a surprise to me when she made mention of my good mood.

I don’t know if it’s the UV light therapy lamp that is making or difference or I’m just starting to feel better. Either way, it doesn’t harm me or anyone to sit in front of it for 30 minutes each morning while I check my email and catch up on blog reading

My kids are pretty amazing and every day they make me laugh with their candor and wit. They say and do the funniest things and I can’t remember what life was like before them. My daughter and I agree that her six-year-old brother could be one of two things when he grows up – a race car driver or a stand up comedian. I’m hoping for the latter because it’s not life threatening and far more entertaining.

My daughter , who is ten, says she wants to be a photographer when she grows up. She often comes along with me for photo walks taking pics with her iPod. She took these two shots below:

Caught red-handed, Instagramming.

Caught red-handed, Instagramming.

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“I also would like to be a writer, just like you”, she says.

We didn’t stay at the lake very long because it was cold. I think we were there for only about twenty minutes, but it was twenty minutes of pure quality time together, laughing, chatting and having fun on the cold shore of Lake Ontario.

On the drive home, my daughter said “I like it when you’re happy Mommy”.

I like it too.

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Follow me on Instagram: @callmeSheBear

Trying to keep my chin up

So I’m not doing so well with the seasonal depression. Well, let me rephrase that…I am doing ok, just not going out to take any photos the way I would like to. I’m being easy on myself and going to bed early with the exception of a couple of late nights here and there. I’ve had some scary mood swings but thankfully noone was hurt by it, well, except for my ego but that’s okay.

Sleep. I just can’t get enough sleep. Throughout the rest of the year, I run on about four or five hours of sleep per night. Right now, ten hours is not enough. I’m tired ALL DAY LONG. An amethyst cave that I can crawl into and sleep until about mid-April would be great, but of course that’s never going to happen. Neither is moving to a warmer climate any time soon.

So, for now I am taking my Omega 3 supplements, St. John’s Wort and I just ordered myself this light therapy lamp. I had one before but it was too big and the light gave me headaches and eye strain. That was several years ago and it looks like light therapy lamps have changed a lot, also the price. I’m getting a small one that I can keep on my desk by my computer.

I’m not sure if I will be getting out and taking photos of sunrise any time soon. It’s November and it’s mostly been cold and grey here so far this month. Well, actually I wouldn’t know because I have slept in every weekend these past few weeks and haven’t seen a sunrise in what seems like ages.

I went down to the bridge in my neighbourhood the other day and snapped a photo of sunset. It looks like it’s going to be a long few months ahead of me with no trips down to the lake to snap shots of the sun coming up. But with sunset views like this one so close to where I live, maybe I might be able to manage the impending cold winter after all.

Staying ahead of seasonal depression

For many years I have had Seasonal Affective Disorder. As much as I love autumn, it’s actually a difficult time of year for me, particularly late autumn. The days get shorter, and nights grow longer day by day. Soon it will be dark when we leave the house in the morning and dark when we return home at the end of day. The other day when I woke up my son at 7am, he asked me why we were getting up when it was still night time, lol.

My symptoms of S.A.D are extreme tiredness, lethargy, irritability (more than usual) and a general blah feeling about life (maybe also more than usual). ;p

It’s strange because up until this week, I was good. And then it’s like someone came along and flicked off my light switch and now I suddenly can’t seem to get enough sleep or get out of bed in the morning. I suppose the one good thing about this is that this time of year is when I catch up on all the sleep I am missing the rest of the year. Normally, I toss and turn all night and haven’t had a full night of sleep since my daughter was born ten years ago. This week, I have been asleep by 9:30pm then I drag my ass out of bed at 6:30am. You would think that this would be more than enough sleep, but I still feel exhausted the entire day and I could easily fall asleep every time I sit down for more than a few minutes.

The good thing is that this generally doesn’t last the entire winter. The peak time for me, is between now and Christmas. The key is to stay on top of it and to use this time for self-care. I do more brisk walking around the city than usual, and St. John’s Wort and omega 3 fatty acids become a part of my daily routine. It helps as long as I make a commitment to myself to be consistent with it everyday.

I’ve been living with this long enough to know how to keep on top of it by now, so I’m not too worried about my seasonal depression turning into something bigger. However, my biggest concern is, will I be able to tear myself out of my warm cozy bed on the weekends to go down to the lake and capture the sunrise with my camera?

I don’t know yet, but I’m sure gonna give it a try.

Photo taken with my iPhone3Gs, and edited in Camera+, Snapseed, Photoshop Express and PicFX.