Sunday, 06 November 2016 09:41

How Do I Manage the Change of Season?

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I’m hoping you’ll be able to help me. Or maybe it would help that I’m writing this down and telling it to someone, I don’t know. I’m in my early 20’s, female and live in the UK.

I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. About four or five years ago, it was quite debilitating and I found it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork and ended up not attending school very much at all as getting out of bed was such a struggle for me.

Over the last few years though, I’ve found it much more manageable.

However, as we’re entering October, I’m suffering much more than I’ve ever done.
I’m constantly tired and find it too much to concentrate on tasks at work (I work full time as an administration assistant), therefore I fall behind with deadlines.

My sleep pattern is erratic, alternating between not being able to wake up and not being able to get to sleep.

I’m plagued with feelings of despair, as if the world is going to end and have regular panic attacks.  I feel tearful or cry at some point every day. I even have a nasty cold sore for the first time in about 7 years.

Aside from my struggling with SAD, I recently came out of a four-year relationship. While the break-up wasn’t acrimonious, we were living together and my ex-boyfriend has now moved out.
I’m trying to adjust to life as a single girl for the first time in four years, but I’m struggling with the fact that I now live alone.

Not only is it lonely and makes me feel somewhat overwhelmed by the thought that it’s just me taking care of myself for once, my income is now, of course, considerably less than before.  I can still get by with paying bills and the like, but I’m pinching every penny and it’s leading me to feel worthless and even more depressed.

Now work is also very stressful. Staffing is short and the workload is high and I feel as if I’m running on autopilot.

I’m becoming increasingly concerned that I’m going to burnout or break down, as my daily routine is to get up alone in my flat, head off to work in the ever increasingly darker mornings, work all day in a stressful environment – feeling tired and sluggish, go home to an empty flat, barely be bothered to cook for myself as all I’m craving is junk food that I can’t afford and head to bed early to cry myself to sleep.

I just want some advice as to whether this is just a bad case of SAD or something worse. And what can I do to help minimise my stress?

I just feel trapped and lost.

Thanks for your time.


It seems like you are going through a lot of personal change at at time when the world around us is also in flux.  Thus, it is not that easy to hold on to things that feel familiar and retain your balance.

I am going to first give you some practical things that you can do to improve your situation.

The first thing is to get into a routine of going to bed at the same time every night, and getting up at the same time every morning.  Your body needs at least 7 hours of sleep every night, and your sleep patterns will stabilize when you have a routine that your body is used to.

In terms of your eating habits (which will also improve your sleep patterns and make you feel energetic) there are a few basic rules that you can follow:

* Drink 8 glasses or water every day.  This will improve your mood - because the water removes toxins from your body.
* Eat at least 2 meals a day.  Those two meals should not be the same.  Each meal should consist of at lease a portion of protein (e.g. fish, meat, chicken, avocado, seafood), a portion of green vegetables (e.g. salad, cucumber, broccoli, celery, fennel, onion) and a fruit.  You would be surprised at how much better you feel when you eat a green vegetable with each meal.  Try to stay away from bread, pasta and potatoes.
* Don't eat anything within 3 hours of going to bed.
* You can prepare two similar meals each evening, then eat one and take one to work for lunch.
These eating habits deal with cravings and give you energy.

For a cold sore, the best advice ever (and I speak from experience) is to press a slice of fresh lemon against the spot from the moment you become aware of it, regularly throughout the day until it goes away.

As for your relationship - yes, it is not easy to get over a relationship and it does take time.  Here is what I want you to do:
Firstly, write a letter to your ex.  Put in the letter everything you ever wanted to say to him and everything you liked and disliked about your relationship.  Be totally honest, and write until you have nothing more to write.  You may want to do this over a period.  When you feel you are truly finished with the letter, destroy it.  Burn it, shred it, do with it whatever you want - but do not mail it.  The letter is for your benefit, not for his. And give yourself time to find the positive outcome of the relationship.  How did you gain or grow or benefit from the relationship?  If you feel you are still too close to the relationship, ask your family of friends for their views.  When you understand how you gained from the relationship, you will feel better and look better - your natural radiance will shine through.

Then you will attract someone who deserves you and you will have the happiness that is yours.

At work, when you feel stressed, find a quiet place (the bathroom is good enough) where you can hide away for about 5 minutes.  Then do some breathing like this: four quick breaths in and out, followed by a deep in-breath for 5 counts, and then a long out-breath for 7 counts.   Repeat that 5 times.  You will feel the difference immediately.  I would say do this initially every hour (set an alarm on your phone) and once you feel you can cope better, do it every two hours.

If you do all of this and still wake up at night, get yourself a book and read until you fall asleep again. Don't stress about being awake, and don't get out of bed or do things like drinking coffee, which will wake you up.

Your body will get used to the rhythm of sleep and you will feel better despite the seasons.

Whenever there is a nice sunny day, take a 30-minute lunch break and go outside where you can close your eyes and feel the heat of the sun on your face.  This is also where it is important to eat oranges and other tropical fruit which will give you the vitamins your body needs in winter.

Once you have done all these things and developed a new routine, you will feel much stronger and then you can find an affordable and creative hobby that will also help you meet new people.

Many people are going through these changes at the moment.  You are one of the few that are aware of it and you asked for help, and I salute you for that.

Read 1654 times Last modified on Tuesday, 07 February 2017 09:20
Elsabe Smit

Elsabe Smit is a well-known author, clairvoyant, and public speaker.

Elsabe helps people to understand the mysteries of life and Love, so that they can regain control of their lives. What would you like to resolve?

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