A visit from an old friend

I should have known from the fluttering sense of panic when there’s nothing going wrong.

I should have known from the sense of gloominess when things are actually OK.

I should have known from the tiredness and lethargy and lack of interest in anything when we are about to have things to look forward to.

I should have recognised this was a visit from my old friend S.A.D. – Season Affective Disorder – this slow black fog of the brain.

It makes sense that it would have come around this year, considering that I’m not getting outside as much as I used to.

Everyone is saying how it’s really important to get outside at least once a day and I forgot to pay attention to that. It only took a couple of days of staying inside for S.A.D. to raise its ugly head. The fluttery panic when there was nothing to panic about should have been the clue. The feeling that I’ve missed something, forgotten something. What I was missing and what I forgot was the feeling of being outside.

Yes, at this time of year there isn’t a lot of daylight, and even less sunlight. All the more important then to maximise what light exposure there is.

Especially this year. This year when I’m not walking to the station five days a week – that’s 25 minutes of being outside I’m missing. Plus however many minutes standing at the platform waiting for my train to arrive. Plus the walk to the office on the other side. Plus any popping out to the shops or just for a walk around the block at lunchtime. All of that is gone. All of that light exposure.

Yes it’s cold and yes it’s miserable out and yes it’s nice to not have to leave the house in the early morning to commute but this laziness has to stop. I need to leave the house every day. That’s part of keeping not just physically healthy but mentally healthy. I need to sort myself out and get on top of this. Get out. Get moving. Get some daylight. And get back on top of things.

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