In my head, today’s blog post was utterly fabulous. Witty, informative, illustrated with lovely photos and a great chance to show off some of the wonderful yarns in my stash.
But we’ve had two days without any sunshine at all in Oxford, and my brain has decided to go on strike. This morning, it wasn’t so much that I was tired when I got up, but that I couldn’t actually stand up properly. I eventually got myself into work, but it’s been a real fight to get anything at all done. And that includes composing a sparkling blog post.
What I do want to post about are the sanity-saving lights that have changed my life over the last couple of years. Lots of people get a bit miserable at this time of year, with the nights drawing in and the weather worsening. Winter blues are incredibly common, and the usual things – fresh air, exercise, good diet, good sleep – go a long way to tackling them. SAD is related to it in the way that depression is related to feeling rather miserable. It took me three days to work out that the reason I had basically ceased to function was that the clocks had gone back. I couldn’t wake up in the morning, I felt wretched all day, my appetite was all over the place, and I generally had no interest in doing anything at all whatsoever. Imagine sitting at the bottom of a black hole with no inclination to climb out. That’s the reality of SAD for hundreds of sufferers out there.
If that sounds familiar, then I heartily recommend doing something to alleviate the symptoms.
That up there is a Lumie lightbox. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth every penny. We have it on a timer to help me wake up in the mornings, and I doubt I’d ever get to work without it. I also have one of these:
[Clicking the pictures will take you to the relevant pages on the Lumie site. You can also buy them from Boots, and Lumie have a ‘refurbished’ section on their website, which is where I got my lightbox]
As you can see, it sits neatly under my monitor and shines in my face as long as I need it. And it’s wonderful. Just turning it on makes my brain come to life a little more. Neither can combat the depression that comes with SAD, but they help hugely with the exhaustion. And when I’m not so exhausted, I deal better with the depression.
If you suffer from SAD, or even just the winter blues, I heartily recommend getting yourself some full-spectrum light bulbs for your home/desk lamp – Ebay’s the best way to buy them, we’ve found. We have them everywhere we can, and they create a completely different environment to the usual yellow ones. They’re not a miracle cure, but anything that lightens (boom boom) the load at this time of year is incredibly welcome.