August was very up and down for me. Settling into the degree properly and meeting the challenges set for me probably took more of a toll than I have given it credit for. Also becoming somewhat obsessed with painting probably didn't help. I do tend to become hyper-focused on new activities, so that's nothing new, but with painting being so messy, I did prefer to do it overnight while the kids were asleep.
With all the kids staying up later now - particularly Erik and Lukas - I find it hard to feel as if I get any down time. So, I fell into a pattern of napping in late afternoon then getting up and staying up late into the evening.
I started to forget to take my anti-anxiety medication (because I was usually asleep at the time I scheduled to take it), and after a couple of weeks of that I became overcome with anxiety. It was very depressing realising how reliant I still am on the medication for equilibrium.
Anyway, I ended up taking several steps to combat the insomnia which resulted from all the untimely napping. I've been on this new regime for about a week and half now, and I can report a great improvement. My anxiety has stabilised and I am feeling more cheerful again - despite knowing it is more chemical than anything else. I am getting to bed between 8-10pm and getting up between 7-8.30am - even on the weekend. I haven't done any exercise yet, but I was very generously given a treadmill last weekend and I plan to start using that soon.
I have to admit I still feel very tired a lot of the time, but not so much that I can't think - which was how I was feeling. I even managed to get some painting in during the day on the weekend.
On the whole I don't think my experience of seasonal affective disorder has been as severe this Winter. That is probably because of the medication, but other mitigating factors would include having a car and house with decent heating to fight against the miseries of the season. I just haven't been as exposed to the elements this season as in previous years. Also, this Winter in Melbourne just doesn't seem to have been as cold. We had a very cold snap in early July, but likewise, in late July we had a 23ºC day! Now at the end of August, we're experiencing a run of 20+ºC days.
So, I'm ending this winter on a high note.