Battling Through Winter

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

 I always feel weird around autumn/winter time.

I suffer from horrendous bouts of depersonalization that can last weeks at a time.

For the first month or so, when the change of season really starts to kick in, I find myself slipping into an auto-pilot state, only vaguely aware of myself and my surroundings, I suffer a bizarre combination somewhere between nostalgic hopelessness and being full-on emotionally stunted. If you've spoken or seen me throughout October or November, you may have noticed it's like witnessing someone floating around on another planet.

 If you can relate to the above, also accomponied with low-energy, depression, anxiety and general misery, then you have more than likely heard of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) something I have come to learn a lot more people suffer with than I had first realised - this is a comforting revelation, but also a very woeful one.

With this in mind, I thought I would share a few of my coping mechanisms for battling through the winter. If you are in a similar position yourself, I would love to hear your own thoughts on this topic.

(Please note these are personal coping methods and not necessarily recommended by healthcare professionals. If you are worried about your mental health you should always seek professional support.)

Embracing your inner bookworm
I have recently invested in a handful of books that I am making my way through over the miserable months. Although I have always adored literature, I haven't always had the attention span to sit down and enjoy a good book, so this is definitely something I am grateful to be doing. I find that when I'm feeling as though I am not attached to my own body or emotions, losing myself in a great story can be a productive way of getting back control. It's a wonderful distraction, and the perfect evening activity with a steaming mug of hot chocolate, some twinkling fairy lights, and gentle background music.

Putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard!)
When I first started this blog I never expected to find myself writing so openly about my experience, but since I made the decision to delve into such topics, I have found a great comfort in transferring the jumbled thoughts from my brain to structured documents - even if I don't share them all. I spent from the age of twelve to the age of nineteen keeping a diary, writing in it every single day, and always found that if you can get your thoughts and fears out onto paper, you are already taking the first steps into fixing them.

Spending time with friends
For the first time in my life, I have got the most wonderful people to fall back on when times are hard or I find myself struggling. These are people that know when to make me speak, and when to let me bawl my eyes out. When I find myself feeling lost or anxious, spending time with these people reminds me of the things I have to be grateful for. They are my calm.

Turn headphones on, turn world off
I write a lot of music. It's always been one of my biggest emotional releases, but similarly, I listen to a hell of a lot of music when I'm feeling down. As tempting as it is to listen to dreary music to reflect your mood, there's no better lift than popping on some relaxing, or upbeat compositions and giving yourself the opportunity to find inspiration and re-energise.

The art of routines
Reduced levels of sunlight in the winter months are capable of disrupting your internal body clock, or circadian rhythm, leading to feelings of depression and anxiety. I find that sticking to a schedule or routine really helps my body to catch-up - trying to wake up early to catch some morning rays, and going to bed at a reasonable hour, avoiding sleeping throughout the day, all help to create happier and healthier emotions.

Finding something to focus onI have spent the last couple of weeks dedicating a lot of time to my work. I have been manically studying subject after subject on Marketing, Social Media, Blogging, Advertising and anything else related to my career. I find that if I throw myself into something passionatley enough, I can take my mind off the things I may be struggling with. I've ordered a pile of study books to read through, and look forward to putting these to work in the new year when I start my Marketing Diploma!


How do you cope with the winter blues?

Elly xo

8 comments

  1. So great that you're talking about this, it is SO important. And you're certainly right about getting your head into a book! Getting lost in a story makes everything a little better. Lovely post, thanks for sharing xx

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  2. These are great tips for anyone suffering from SAD

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  3. This is such an amazing post xx and this tips are really helpful x I totally agree about either writing or typing both are great ways to express how you feel
    Xx

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  4. You've got some great tips here lovely! I'm sure this will help a lot of people :)!

    L xo
    www.lindsaymurrell.co.uk

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  5. Oh wow, I've never heard of SAD before. You taught me something from this post. What you've mentioned on how to cope with it is really great tips and I'm glad I'm now aware of this disorder. Finding things to focus on would forever be great advice because there's literally so much going on on a daily basis and we just need to be more turned down and tuned in to something, anything that'll calm us down. ❤️️❤️️😭

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  6. I love how you're so honest and open.
    Great tips and I completely agree with embracing your inner bookworm; its like a mini emotional vacation from life. x

    www.rominaslittlecorner.wordpress.com

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  7. These are great tips on coping with the changing seasons! I also struggle to adjust when it comes round to Autumn/Winter time, and I have blogged on this before, but this year has been particularly tough to adjust to. In the past, I've just tried to make myself more busy socially in order to feel better but this doesn't always work and makes me feel worse. I'm learning to take it a bit easier this time around, and I think your tips on reading, listening to music and finding something to focus on are really helpful. Thanks x

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  8. Fab post and one that will resonate with alot of people out there. It was very interesting reading about what has helped you cope with these grey spells and I am sure will help many out there going through the same thing. Depression and mental illness is something very close to my heart, it's an awful thing to go through so totally feel for you with this. What you have been doing is fantastic, finding creative outlets has huge therapeutic benefits. The best thing I have found to sort my head out was meditation and energy healing, I stumbled across it by accident, but it snapped me right out of a very slippery slope to doomsville, could go into length on this topic, but shall reign myself in he he

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