One of my faithful readers took one look at the post I published earlier this week and pointed out it was rather a gloomy read.
I hadn’t realised it at the time of writing it but looking back now it was indeed blue in mood, and instead of pointing to my cultivation accomplishments for the month, I’d highlighted all the things that hadn’t gone well so it was rather a poor post in that respect.
So how come I’d focussed on the bad and not the good stuff in the garden?
Over the previous weekend I’d realised that not only was Summer over but I am clearly going to struggle in the transition from a busy and vibrant cultivation space to a now rather more cold and less flowery space and it showed in my post.
I think it’s fair to say I suffer from a mild form of SAD (seasonal effective disorder) and I bet I’m not alone.
For me this means an odd emotional gear change that happens to me every four months, without fail. Along with the weather changing, it also effects how I cope with the changes. Like not being able to get warm even though the temperature has only dropped a couple of degrees or the fact I get panicky when I see the nights drawing in and I feel like time is running out fast in the day and the darkness prevents me going out because it feels like 11pm even though it’s only 7pm.
Eventually I adjust until winter season starts. Again I hit a low and grapple with the weather. Then just when I’m getting used to the cold and the dark the season changes once again and then I’m in panic mode missing out on time because now it’s getting lighter earlier in the morning,
Tiredness creeps up on my like a hideous monster, which must be linked to cold weather because even after two strong coffee’s the other morning I felt like another fours hours in bed was just what I needed, where as just two weeks previously I was bouncing around on coffee and sunshine.
Everything becomes an effort at this time of year and the idea of hibernating sounds extremely attractive.
It all sounds rather absurd, and yes is rather negative, but that’s only half the story!
Getting with the vibes
I’ve been thinking about a few ideas that may or may not help me in this rather peculiar mood I find myself in right now. For one thing time is still time and it doesn’t need to be wasted with me feeling blue.
Clearly light plays a very important part in this issue and even more so when it’s lacking, as does our own circadian rhythm throughout the day. So perhaps focussing on the following areas may well help:
- Adapt and get back the early morning routine – On average I managed three 5am starts out of every seven over the summer so it’s time to pick it up faithfully again. However this time rather than aim for 8 hours of sleep a night further research suggest quality rather than quantity of sleep may prove to keep this habit going. Rather than the usual routine which goes something like – go to bed early, stay awake until late trying to get to sleep, clock watch throughout the night, get up early dead to the world – rinse and repeat. It needs to be more like – go to bed when tired, read until you can no longer keep eyes open, sleep well, wake at same time every morning and rather than partaking in that Sunday afternoon nap (what am I like 90 now?!), take ten minutes out to meditate and get over that afternoon energy dip.
- Make use of as much natural light as possible. On grey cloudy day’s this is going to be tough but light is light no matter what grey form it comes in. I going to aim to spend at the very least 20 minutes outdoors, in the garden, on a walk, to really feel the daylight, and get some of that all important vitamin D into my system. (Light lamps are available to buy but not sure what they are like).
- When feeling low in mood I’m going to actively search out and look for the positive and even better – look for the inspirational. Positive people, positive messages, great music, artwork, movies, athletes and even business people. If one doesn’t work look I’ll look for something else. Sometimes music really hits the spot but if it doesn’t I’ll keep searching for it.
- Keep things simple. The more I plan my days the easier it becomes to deal with getting stuff done. If I can’t concentrate or I loose my thought process then I just need to look to my plan/schedule and it re-focuses my attention.
Of course you can’t just lift a mood by simple act of will alone. I wish it was that easy.
Sometimes the mood just has to be felt as it moves across your body like a slow passing ship. However, I think, rather than taking SAD on the chin this year I’m going to box it back to the compost heap where it can do more good with the grass clippings and tea bags.
Bring on the autumn
Cover Photo courtesy of Aureusbay