So, if you haven't been reading my blog lately - and let's face it, there hasn't been a lot here to want to read - you may not have picked up on the fact that I'm very stressed at the moment with various committments. On top of this (mostly) self-inflicted stress, the season has been turning towards Winter. Winter and I are not friends. For me, Winter is a cold, bleak tunnel between Autumn and Spring. I suffer from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder (SAD - which oddly is also my initials) as do many of my Scandi relatives and this time of year always sees me feeling more depressed than other times of the year.
This year has been particularly tough. The SAD crashed down on me like some sort of Perfect Storm colliding with the pressures of studying, doing workplacement, being a parent to four and the person in the household who takes care of the finances (which are scarce, to say the least)...
I've felt desperate in this last week, if I'm perfectly honest. The only thing keeping me from coming apart at the seams has been the knowledge of how that would impact my children (and their father, but mostly them).
So, I've had to really put some thought into how I'm going to cope with it all in the coming weeks and months until the sun comes out again and the pressures ease a bit and things turn for the better.
I gave eating better a go, but seriously, cutting out sugar made me more depressed than ever (probably because of withdrawal), so I've come to the conclusion that what I need to do is get exercise.
Exercise is supposed to alleviate the symptoms of depression because it stimulates the production of seratonin. As well as this, I'm thinking that some physical exertion is a good way to release tension that I'm holding in my body from a lot of the fear based anger and resentment I'm feeling. AND if, as a side effect, I lose a few kilos, that wouldn't be a bad thing either for my general health and wellbeing (and hip pocket, because I can't afford to buy ever increasing sizes in clothing to accommodate my expanding body)...
So, for Mother's Day I gave myself the gift of a 4.5km walk, and then I did the same this morning, and I'm planning to do the same each day. I'm hoping the increase in seratonin levels will help me cope with the SAD symptoms, and the exertion of the walks will wear out some of the tension stored in my body. It also gives me time to think without kids and partner talking at me. It helps me get some sunshine on sunny days, and some freshER air than I'd get sitting inside stewing.