Asrai Devin- the Maven of Mischief

Putting the fun back in dysfunctional.

Tag Archives: Seasonal affective disorder

Tips for dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder

1. Get outside during the day. It’s pretty basic, but we get busy and it’s cold, we just don’t get out in the sunlight. I looked at the sunrise and sunset for today (12/12/12) it was 8:36 sunrise and 4:01 sunset!! That’s seven and a half hours of sunlight. And if it’s cloudy, it’s even worse.

2. Move your body. For me this is the key, since getting outside with a toddler when it’s -30 C just isn’t feasible. If I do a bit of movement every other day, this keeps me saner.

3. Supplements. There are a number of supplements, vitamins and minerals you can take to help. Of course, check with a health care
professional before you start anything. This is just what works for me and some others.

  • Vitamin D. This is the vitamin we get from the sun, so when you aren’t getting sun, you aren’t getting this important vitamin. I take a couple thousand some days, usually not even that much. the RDI is 400 IU for children and 600 IU for adults. Upper limits for Vitamin D are 1000 for children and 4,000 IU for adults. http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/vitamin/vita-d-eng.php
  • Magnesium. This is often taken in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D, as you need all three for teeth and bones (and possible vitamin k). But you can take it on it’s own. Some claim that it’s necessary to take it on it’s own and that a lot of common ailments are a lack of magnesium. I haven’t tried it yet, but it’s on my radar. Miracle of Magnesium.
  • Omega-3’s. Fatty acids are important for the brain, because your brain is made up of fat. The best way to get your Omega-3s is to eat fish. I take a supplement. Asrai no likey fish.
  • 5-HTP. This is a funny one for me. It’s a precursor to serotonin  5-HTP is made from tryptophan, which is the part of turkey that makes people sleepy, in the body. But a bad batch of tryptophan in 1989 got it banned by the FDA in the US, and 5-HTP took it’s place. Reference: http://www.wellnessletter.com/ucberkeley/dietary-supplements/5-htp/ The supplement is supposed to help with sleep. I take it and I’m wired, up to all hours. I take mine in the morning to combat this.
  • L-Phenylalanine. An amnion acid, it helps your body make L-Tyrosine which in turn makes dopamine and norepinephrine. I take this in the morning as well, and sometimes during the day on a empty stomach for an extra boost. You don’t want to take it too close to bedtime.
  • L-Tryosine. This works the same as L-Phenylalanine but faster. I get a pretty quick boost in energy when I take it. The bottle I have says for short term use in physically stressful situations, so I save it for days I know I’m tired or if I have a lot to do.
  • B-complex. B vitamins are a good energy booster as well, so you have to make sure you don’t take it too close to bedtime. As well, an excess is eliminated in your urine, so your pee will be super yellow.
  • GABA is another amino acid for anxiety. I’m finding my moods are managed under 5-HTP and L-phen, so I haven’t taken any GABA myself. But it’s also on my radar.

4. Consider an anti-depressant. I learned about these supplements in the book “The Female Brain Gone Insane” which was an interesting read. The author, Mia Lundin, is a registered nurse and a nurse practitioner,  says that anti-depressants don’t help your body make new serotonin they just recycle what’s there.

Last anti-depressant I took, I was literally vibrating at the lowest dose and a very short time taking them. My husband told me I had to
stop.

5. If you are on hormonal birth control, consider making a switch. This is personal, the Pill and the shot, make me depressed. I was on
the shot for a couple years before it started affecting me. But after that even two weeks on The Pill would affect me. This is no
longer a consideration since I got a tubal litigation.

6. Tan. My sister in law says tanning helps her mood. I don’t have the time, money or desire to tan (hello skin cancer). If I had that kind of money, I’d buy the SAD lamp.

7. Get a SAD lamp. Sometimes if your doctor gives you a prescription, your insurance will pay for some or all.

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Fucking SAD again

Okay, so every  year I experience seasonal affective disorder.

I know this. I try to plan with exercise and getting outside and things.

I failed this year.

My dear sweet little boy, I call him Sunshine Boy, hates going outside when it’s mildly cold. He HATES, loathes with a passion, wearing hats and mitts. Within minutes of being outside they are on the ground and he’s screaming “my hat fell off, my mitts fell off” and I run over and put them back on again and again until I lose all patience and start screaming back to the get into the house. (okay this only happened once). Then I calmly take him back into the house.

I also used to walk Princess Girl to school. But since I’m watching twins in her grade, they all walk together and I don’t have to wrestle Sunshine into clothing and listen to him whine.

Added to that it’s been -15 to -36 C with windchill. (That’s 0 F to -32 F), we haven’t gotten outside nearly enough.

So what about exercise?

yeah I”m a slacker. Sunshine is a toddler. He is a demanding toddler. When my daughter, my sweet easy going daughter was a toddler, we struggled as parents. It’s much harder now.

So, I have things happening in my head that won’t happen on paper or on the computer until sometime in the new year after I get a handle on this.

The plan for dealing with SAD (and currently PMS backache and cramps) is daily exercise. Getting outside at couple times a week, if only for 10 minutes. Just a quick walk. Strap Sunshine boy on my back if I need to. Morning pages, if I start sleeping earlier at night. I’ll try to stick some free writing in during the day.

If I don’t take care of myself, there will be no Mom to take care of anyone else. I know this. I KNOW THIS. I once again thought that it wouldn’t happen. Sunrise is 8:30 AM and sunset is like 3:30 PM. Seriously we had to turn lights on today at 3:30, the kids weren’t even home from school.

I’m looking into SAD light therapy. They are pretty expensive. 10,000 lux, which is what is recommended, 10,000 lux for a half hour is more feasible than 2,500 lux for 2 hours. If we weren’t in the middle of paying for Sunshine Boy’s teeth removal, might be different. This will be a must have for next year.

Also my DH isn’t working a lot of hours with his new company, so that will entail another company switch soon, likely back to the first trucking company he worked for. But anyway  I don’t want to stress him out by saying I need to spend $200, when if I just went outside for 15 minutes I’d get the same result. Again, going to try backpacking Sunshine and see how it all goes.

Also did I mention the Princess brought home lice. Again. Holy fucking hell. We don’t get lice very often in this house, but when we do, my sister in law is over and we share between us. (sometimes she gives it to us or we give it to her).

 

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#Row80 Checkin January 25

This week in the life of Asrai: husband got a truck loan, so I get to drive the new truck, because he’s selling the old truck and neither of us feel safe with the kids in the micro-car. It’s a Kia Rio.

I finished Dragon Ages: Origins and become Queen!! of Ferelden. I <3 Alistair.  I need to stay away from fan fiction involving Alistair or Bann Teagan. It’s romantic word-crack.

And my son wound up with a chest infection and on antibiotics and now I have a cough. So, I’m whiney. On with the goals.

Writing goals:

Edit 5 days a week, 1 hour a day  After editing is done, write 250 words 5 days a week or 1250 words per week.

I’m not even tracking the hour anymore. But I am beginning to hate the book I was editing so I decided it was time for beta readers and I’ll go onto the next book. I haven’t looked at it since October.

Personal:

Get outside 5 days a week.

Since we are all dying, we walk to and from school because it’s super close and it’s super warm this week. (Yeah thanks weather and furnace, couldn’t have gone out THIS week).

Exercise with EA active 4 times per week

I’m several work-outs behind. See above whining for why I’ve fallen behind.

Plan meals (gotta get our budget under control).

All meals planned for this week. Sweet.

Read one book and watch one movie a week as per the fifty-fifty challenge.

Almost done Carly Philips book “Kiss Me If You Can“. Not sure if I’ll do a fiction or non-fiction next. I’m trying to alternate but I’m reading this one and Indie Journey at the same time. I guess it should be a fiction I start next since I started the fiction one first … okay I’m babbling.

Go to bed by 11 PM

It’s 11:30 right now, so I’m not making it today. I’ve been playing with pintrest and Goodreads (applying for the author program).

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#Row80 Checkin January 22

I’m changing my goals this week. I’ve realized somethings I set are not working for me, and since they are my goals I’m changing them. I felt better immediately after I decided to do so earlier in the week.

Writing goals:

Edit 5 days a week, 1 hour a day  After editing is done, write 250 words 5 days a week or 1250 words per week.

I’m barely getting my editing in never mind my writing, so I dropped the writing goal. And I’m dropping the hour goal, as long as I get at least one chapter edited, I’m calling it success. So far I’ve been successful since our furnace came back to life.

The change was to protect my new bedtime of 11 PM, I need to get my son up earlier so bedtime for me has to get earlier.

Blog goals:

More guest posting: both getting and giving. Going to aim for 2 a month for Jan and Feb, one a week for March.

Dumping this goal. I hate reaching out to people. I’m stressed over just keeping up with my blog. So I’m just going to blog, connect via Twitter and do my mash-ups and call it good.

Working out a schedule in a spreadsheet, because I’m a geek.

I want back to this but it’s not really working for me. Maybe when the boy-child is off antibiotics and I’m sleeping at night.

Personal:

Get outside 5 days a week.

Haha. It was below -20 all week. I had to drive my daughter to school, we live 3 blocks away. There was no recess, buses didn’t run most of the week. And then my son wound up with a chest infection. Someday it will warm up and we won’t be sick. Before we moved to oiltown, we NEVER got sick. Since we got here, we’ve been sick constantly. It might be all the damned wind. I so want to move back to Central Alberta.

Exercise with EA active

I missed one work-out last week. 4 days on, 3 days off. But I’m less excited about exercising, but I have noticed a change in my endurance and muscle strength. I’m not trying to lose weight (I’m sadly underweight) but I have to exercise to stave off Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Plan meals (gotta get our budget under control).

Doing well. Been using up some freezer stuff since I didn’t get to shop on my usual day, Tuesday thanks to furnace-gate.

Read one book and watch one movie a week as per the fifty-fifty challenge.

Lord, I have to get a list of these. I lost my notebook. I had a bunch of late books from the library so I got banned from borrowing E-books as well. But I fixed that. I read “Write Good or Die” edited by Scott Nicholson but it was written before the e-book boom so half of it was related to making pitches, which I skipped. When I finish The Indie Journey, I will count the two of them as one book.

Oh I did finish The Happiness Project.

And I immediately thought “I should start my own project” and then I thought of all the other things I had going on and how crappy I was feeling about not keeping up, and I ditched the idea. I didn’t watch a movie, unless you count the last half hour of  the second Star Wars movie, which was on when I got up the other morning. My husband had fallen asleep on the sofa while watching and it went on repeat. My son was excited to see “bain-bain” or airplanes so early in the day.

Happy birthday to my mom.

Tomorrow I will watch a movie. Not sure what yet, something child-friendly. Or with pretty guys in it.

The other goal I’m adding, which I’m not really tracking, is just keeping my sink shiny again. I’ve been slacking on routines once again after the holidays and illness and furnace-gate. So, I’m doing minimalism and just doing the shiny sink thing, and it’s working. I’m getting dishes done consistently before bed.

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