Keeping on Top of SAD

Guinea Pig - Seasonal Affective Disorder

It’s been getting cold in Melbourne. Cold and dark. It’s that time of year when I get every single virus that’s up for grabs, and my body starts insisting that it’s time to go into hibernation. Yes, Seasonal Affective Disorder and I have kept company for many years now.

I know—thanks to the battery of blood tests I was run through almost eight years ago when pregnant—that part of this impulse to climb into bed and stay there until September comes down to vitamin D deficiency. If I can remember (and motivate) myself to take my vitamin D supplement, things seem brighter. But even with the supplements, I still need more sleep during winter.

It’s always tempting to pretend this isn’t the case, particularly as a parent of a young child, because surely, if I take away an extra hour each day, less stuff will get done…  But of course it’s not just about the number of hours in the day, it’s also about how you use them. When I deny myself that extra sleep, I stultify my creativity (not to mention my already challenged sense of  house-wifely duty…) and the day mooches past in a grey haze.

The Guinea Pigs have the right idea. With the shorter, colder days, they’ve been sleeping much more than usual, but when they’re awake, they eat and they popcorn** as though possessed. Wise little animals.

Inspired by the Pigs, I’ve just put two recurrent reminders in my phone:

  • 7:30am, take vitamin D
  • 8:30pm, get ready for bed

Looking forward to perking up!

**Popcorning describes the series of  of vertical-jumps-with-a-twist that Guinea Pigs break into when they’re feeling good. Pop, pop, poppity-pop!