Does anyone else feel extremely low and depressed on overcast, rainy days?
I know there are lights available to help with this problem, but has anyone found a way to add lighting that is therapeutic and non-obtrusive. If you have read my blog, you know I'm a sad sort of lady lately.
Thank you, thank you, ladies. I am seeing a doctor. It's just this feeling of dread, looking at the weather report, because there is no preventing the dramatic dip in mood, if you know what I mean.
I didn't realize that lighting, any lighting, played a role in this. I always thought it had to be sunlight and had something to do with vitamin D. Did you know we have a "3rd eye" that puts out chemicals in overload for some people when it is gloomy, to "hibernate." Something like that. I probably should research it and not try to paraphrase what my doctor told me!
I too get S.A.D. on gloomy days and know many people who have it as well. It is real and it is an issue of sunlight/natural light. Are you very far north?
The trick with the sunlight is to get exposure as early in the morning as possible - even just 10 minutes. I read that this was especially true for women (for mood and vitamin D) and when we returned to the west it was the first thing I did every morning. 10-15 minutes outside every morning. The earlier in the day that you are exposed to the light, the better. Even if it is overcast, go outside and stand in the natural light. If you need to be at work before dawn, then try to schedule a break and go outside when the early light hits.
There is literature out there regarding this, but on the whole, it is the exposure to the sunlight that makes a difference. So talk to your doctor about what is best, but really try to get as much natural light as early in the day as possible.
I live in Vermont, and we keep having stretches of rainy/overcast weather. I don't go out in the morning Junk Collector, and I'll have to try that. Even on overcast days? It's such a pronounced drop in mood and lack of energy, it's pretty unbelievable.
Thanks CJO. You know, this message board is one of the happiest places I know. I'm on Facebook and stuff, but when I really need a mood lift, I come on here and I always feel better. You all are great.
One of my children, and also my husband have trouble on gray gloomy days, so I know what you are talking about. I am glad you are seeing a Dr. jovfam4 as there really is help out there.
As for me, my favorite days are the dark grey ones. I love the soft light, as it is easy on the eyes. I also get a cozy, want-to-be-home feeling and I am usually energized and get lots done. Hot sunny days are the ones that do me in. Heat makes me cranky and worn out, and useless.
Originally posted by jovtfam4: I live in Vermont, and we keep having stretches of rainy/overcast weather. I don't go out in the morning Junk Collector, and I'll have to try that. Even on overcast days? It's such a pronounced drop in mood and lack of energy, it's pretty unbelievable.
I completely understand. But even when it is overcast, there is still the natural light of the day. Plus it gets you up and moving a bit in the fresh air, and that helps too (at least it helps me). Keeping the same sleep schedule helps too - same time to bed and to rise - even on weekends.
Do you feel better in certain rooms of your home? Light bright wall color might help.
Do you have time in your day for an activity or class? A bright blue swimming pool under all that lighting at a rec center or a gentle yoga class might be good options.
I really need to keep a consistent sleep schedule. I've heard it works wonders. I went for a walk today, even though it was overcast, and I feel better today. Thanks for the comments and advice everyone.
I also have S.A.D at times when I stay inside too much. I am 60 years old and should be retired but due to career choices I have made, must work 3 more years for retirement benefits. I have worked full-time since I was 17 years old and am so burned out and tired that I just want to stay home every free day I have. I love being home; doing the housewife thing every chance I get, but I have noticed that I get extremely depressed when I stay in too much. Now, if I am doing more physical work, mowing the lawn, tending my flowers, outside cleaning, running around I am fine.
I have found in the winter months that just a trip to Walmart, Sam's Club, a flea-market, etc can really pick me up - anywhere there are bright flourescent lights. I am not a shop-aholic at all - it is just the bright lights and openess and milling with people. I believe I remember that you are a stay at home mother, but when you get really down, make sure you GET OUT!
When I am home, I turn on lots of table lamps, light candles, anything to make the dreariness cozy. I try to plan relaxing activities that I normally don't have time to do - read, watch a movie, bake a cake, hem a pair of slacks, clean out a closet.....
As tired as I am of working, I have even noticed if I have had a depressing weekend, I feel better when I get back into my office with the bright lights.....but that only works for a few hours and I start craving home.
Originally posted by cocok: ...............As for me, my favorite days are the dark grey ones. I love the soft light, as it is easy on the eyes. I also get a cozy, want-to-be-home feeling and I am usually energized and get lots done. Hot sunny days are the ones that do me in. Heat makes me cranky and worn out, and useless.
You took the words right out of my mouth, I feel the same way, although DH hates it. I wonder if it has to do with me not being a morning person. DH gets up at the crack of dawn, and falls asleep early...I'm just the opposite.
Whether You Think You Can Or You Think You Can't..... You're Right - Henry Ford
Posts: 6840 | Location: Central Florida | Registered: Feb 12, 2005
Sorry you're under the weather and as you can see others here can relate. I second the OTT light recommendation as it simulates natural light. The styles vary and are sold in Michaels and JoAnns. We own several.
I also second the recommendation to use warm, light, or bright hued walls and fabrics. Both evoke a sunny mood even on cloudy days. Allow maximum light filtration to enter your home. Solar tubes or skylights can help in some dark spaces.
Play some cheerful music as you go about daily activities on cloudy days at home. Perhaps even the use of floral or herb scents (pleasant and subtle vs. overpowering) will help too. Appealing to your senses is the way to go.
Posts: 16723 | Location: Right here, duh! ;) | Registered: Nov 03, 2005
My husband is a psychiatrist. His response is: "We use a lot of light therapy in our office for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder. Our office uses lights from Northern Light Technology but many are available. You need full spectrum light of 10000-15000 lux of brightness in most cases of light therapy. Light therapy should be initiated under care of physician as it can worsen glaucoma, insomnia, and other psychiatric conditions if not monitored. Some programs use sleep deprivation and light therapy in the treatment of non-seasonal forms of depression as well.
Talk to your local psychiatrist or physician to see if they are familiar with light therapy."
Posts: 1038 | Location: Florida | Registered: Jan 04, 2005
You are all so wonderful. I love that umbrella. Just looking at it on screen makes me happy.
Froo Froo, Tuesday and Peppyun, and everyone else: Your advice has been helpful. I have taken it and used it.
My doctor did recommend looking into light therapy, but our weather has improved, luckily, and I have been able to go outside. I do have a thryroid disorder, so there are so many things compounded that add to my diagnosis, that I believe I am a complicated subject!
Jovfam4, I've followed your post with interest and although I'm not familiar with S.A.D., I am familiar with diseases of the thyroid and if your thyroid is "out of wack" this will also cause you to suffer with symptoms of depression. You have received some good advice from a caring group. Hope your days have improved now that the weather in your area has improved. Hope the sun is out where you are Hugs to you....
ETA.....that umbrella should brighten any day! I love it and actually need it with all the rain we are having This message has been edited. Last edited by: Georgia Peach,
Unfortunately Thyroid disorder can cause all kinds of problems. Every woman in my family has it, for generations it has been passed down. It just started showing up in my blood tests, but as my doctor said, "It is only a matter of time. It's the 'Barry' curse." I have hypothyroid disease, yet I am rail thin. I have every other symptom, except that.
The weather seems to compound any problems. It has improved here, the sun is out, and I'm feeling better!