Do you know that feeling when November rolls around and you look back on the year and feel like you have nothing accomplished? This is the classical case of the end of the year blues!
For me it always helps to know that I’m not alone. That there are other people out there also struggling, questioning themselves, their talents & ideas and if they’ve taken the right route.
But it’s no wonder that you start dwelling. The days are getting shorter, you are not outside as much anymore, hence get less sunlight, it is constantly grey and rainy (lucky you if you live in a hemisphere where it starts snowing in November), and you just lack overall motivation.
I’m always tempted to give into the blues, crawl underneath a blanket, binge watch my favorite reality TV shows, and just cut mysel off from the world. Even though this might seem like heaven on earth, it’s not healthy if done excessively. Actually forcing yourself to get out, meeting friends and family, or being active outside does wonders for your blues-ridden soul.
What is seasonal affective disorder?
According to an article on getscience.com, a more severe form of winter blues is called seasonal affective disorder (SAD). And the symptoms couldn’t be more accurate: sluggish feeling, agitation, hopelessness, fatigue, and changes in appetite. I can definitely answer all of them with YES!
Surprisingly, this condition wasn’t clinically discovered until the 1980s. The responsible physician, Norman Rosenthal, realized that he felt unproductive during the winter months after his move from South Africa to the United States but exerperienced a surge in productivity come Spring. I can only imagine what he must’ve gone through moving from a sunny and warm place to a more seasonal region.
Scientists are still not clear on why this disorder emerges but have found that the decreased daylight exposure interferes with our circadian rhythm cycles, which are responsible for the production of melatonin and serotonin. I can definitely attest to that. Since the turning back of the clock, I had such a hard time getting out of bed. But no wonder, the morning sunlight serves our natural alarm clock.
What helps against end of the year blues?
Funnily enough, I recently discovered that the light boxes I use to shoot my youtube videos really enhance my mood and productivity on days where it doesn’t seem to get bright. It must look very funny when people look into my window and see me sitting at my desk with two camera lights on 😀
Call me crazy but I also started decorating my appartment for Christmas. I know that many of my fellow bloggers transition right from Halloween into Christmas. And I must say, I’m totally up for that! Why not make November a little bit more bearable by starting Christmas early?
Now I’m excited to hear your thoughts! Do you also experience the winter/November end of the year blues or aren’t you bothered at all? Let’s chat in the comments or over on IG @madeleinestanev