The fact that winter is coming is filling me with a pit of dread in my stomach. Work got really, really hard for me around February of last year, which led me to self-diagnose myself with SAD and also feel panicked and frantic about my job. We get new judges in January and I was also struggling with getting to know them and how they like their evidence and things like that, so that also led to a bit of a meltdown. Once April hit and the seasons changed though, I was in much better spirits. So I’m trying to stave off whatever happened last year so I can continue to be my best self and do my best work.
My current plan:
1.) Get a SAD lamp. I’ve heard mixed things about these, so I don’t know if it will really help and if it does, is it really worth the money? At a minimum, it would be $60, plus the cost of replacement light bulbs.
2.) Changes in diet. I’m making my way through Whole30 right now, and I’m trying to decide what changes I want to keep that I think will help keep me well fed and with a stable mood. Cutting sugar is probably the biggest part of this, to help with mood and hopefully keep my energy levels even. I’ve also cut artificial sweetener, which is just because it’s like, 9 kinds of toxic.
3.) Getting enough high quality sleep. We are looking into a white noise machine or app to help with the loud noises in our new neighborhood, we will be adding a second layer of curtains to our currently ineffective noise reducing curtains, and I will be working on going to bed earlier. I’m also trying to cut out screen time and read more, but I haven’t been able to actually do that yet.
4.) Exercising. I feel like I’m at my best when I’m active and getting things done. I think I want to sign up for a February or March half-marathon, preferably a trail race, to keep me out on the trails in the winter and get me up and out of bed. (Writing this sent me down a Google rabbithole in which I found myself considering several 50k races. Step away from the Ultras, self.) I also sleep better. I have worked out in the morning the last two days, and it’s felt really good.
5.) Planning a vacation. We are already going to the Caribbean over New Year’s. We have two other potential trips on the horizon – I was lucky enough to get 2 round trip tickets on AirTran and I’m hoping that maybe we can swing a 3 or 4 day weekend in February to go someplace warm to lie on the beach and do nothing. Even though we are not people who enjoy doing nothing very much, it seems like it might be the ticket right around then.
Any other strategies?