I have made no secret of the fact that I suffer with my mental health. I was first diagnosed with depression when I was twelve, and my doctor confirmed I had generalised anxiety disorder following Benjamin’s birth three three years ago. I have been taking antidepressants for my anxiety and low mood for just over a year, and they definitely help even out my emotions and give me the boost I need to fight this illness, but there are also other things that I am doing to help at this time of year when it is harder to fight with all the gloom.
I started taking Vitamin D3 capsules back in September, after a recommendation from a friend, as I have seasonal affective disorder, which makes the autumn and winter months a lot harder to cope with, when the days get shorter and the weather often takes a turn for the worse. Although I was taking my tablets, I was still feeling lethargic and quite panicky. Taking the Vitamin D3 supplement daily has really helped me and I would highly recommend (they are only £5 for 150 capsules on eBay). However, make sure you talk to a doctor first, especially if you are already taking medication, as they can clash. I don’t overly love rain and gloom (who does?), but I can cope much better, and don’t feel it impacts my day and general mood as much as it did before.
I try and get outside as much as possible. During the week it isn’t as easy to do this, especially now I am working part time, but even a few minutes walking to and from the school helps, and at the weekend we try and factor in at least one big walk in the countryside or down by the sea. I am the least ‘outdoorsy’ person you could meet, but there is something so freeing about being outside in nature, and it is really helping me get through this long, cold month!
Ed bought me a cheap SAD lamp from Amazon two years ago, I think it was around £30, so a lot more affordable than some of the bigger brand name alternatives, and it is still going strong. I put it on when the sun is going down generally, or in the morning before the sky is light, and it really helps to brighten my mood. I think I need to look into getting a smaller version for work, as it can be so gloomy without much natural daylight in our office.
As I say, I work part time now, and I am sure that this has helped with my mental health. I loved working for myself from home, and I still do this alongside my job, but being in an office environment with other people and having something to do during the day, rather than being by myself, alone with my thoughts, has made all the difference for me.