I think it's becoming more and more prevalent that I have Seasonal Affective Disorder and I still think it's funny that it spells out SAD. Surface wise, I have everything going for me, a new place lined up, great relationship, great friends, great new job. Even my finances seem to be in a good place and that almost never happens. Yet, I can't help but feel like crying all of the time lately and it just gets worse the more I'm indoors. I find myself detaching from social events, eating horribly, not working out, and generally becoming moody and emotional for no apparent reason. I live in the northern midwest, where it's winter 8 months out of the year and the sun goes down as early as 4:30pm in the middle of January.
I was trying to figure out why it's hitting me more now than ever, and I think it's because when I changed jobs I also went from a position where I was near huge south facing windows all day to not seeing any windows at all. At my happiest at my last job, I'd be indoors near sunny windows all day, and then take hour long lunch breaks where I'd walk around the surrounding bike/nature trails no matter how hot it was outside. I brought in some plants for my desk at my new job and that seems to have helped a little, at this point a connection to nature seems to be what I need most. A major factor for my moving out has been lack of sunlight in my current place - it's a lower level which is east facing and the sun is covered up by the woods. I've tried planting a garden in the yard before, but there wasn't enough sunlight so everything planted never grew. I also don't have much for windows - a set in the living room and in the bedroom. The one on my door doesn't count because it's covered by blinds for security reasons. I keep the rest of my blinds all the way up because I crave sunlight so much, much to the chagrin of my boyfriend who hates that he can't sleep in at my place because I've dragged my feet about putting up curtains. And now that I'm in an office where I'm not near windows, I just can't see myself living here in the dark anymore.
My new place is on the third floor of the building facing the outdoor swimming pool. I insisted against living garden level because I'm a woman living alone, and I've had far too many friends have to report incidences of peeping toms. But more than that, I think it's my subconscious telling me I needed a place with lots of bright light. I've decided that once I'm settled I should get myself an indoor greenhouse shelf, or at least a wide plant stand to grow some beautiful things on. I get catalogs from Logees and I swear I can spend hours pouring over the exotic plants I dream about being surrounded by.
Maybe one day I'll move south. I might do better in a sunnier, warmer climate where I can run around outside all day and plant all sorts of pretty things. But for now, baby steps. Any recommendations on light therapy boxes? I'm a little skeptical about artificial light helping, but there have been so many studies saying that it helps that it's worth a shot.