Brain Dump

This winter has been tough on me and I don’t mean the weather although today’s -30 Celsius has me hunkered down and wearing the Mister’s wool socks that are WAY too big for me but keep my toes warm.

I have found myself in funk after funk and someday’s I start to question my sanity. Seasonal Affective Disorder has a hold on my yet again and this year it seems to be harder to pull myself out of it. Things that I love to do have taken a been put aside because some days it’s easier to curl up under the covers then it is to get out of bed. Writing, running and reading/commenting on blogs sometimes feels overwhelming and let’s not even talk about the housework. I have no routine and spend my day wandering around the house thinking I should be doing something, ANYTHING, but never actually doing.


Most people experience a mild down-swing with their mood during the winter months, so mild that most feel a little under the weather and don’t recognize it for what it is. This is what is called the “winter blues”. Experts believe this has to do with the lack of sunlight our bodies are receiving during the shorter days. However S.A.D. can be more than just the blues for a small percentage of folks.

Symptoms of S.A.D. may consist of difficulty waking up in the morning, nausea, tendency to oversleep and over eat, especially a craving for carbohydrates, which leads to weight gain. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, difficulty concentrating on or completing tasks, withdrawal from friends, family, and social activities. All of this leads to depression, pessimistic feelings of hopelessness, and lack of pleasure which characterize a person suffering from this disorder. – Wikipedia

Exercise and getting out of the house to enjoy some fresh air and sunshine can help lift the mood by increasing our endorphin’s but when you feel like you’re walking every day through quicksand it’s difficult to be motivated. Let’s not forget the -30C … Polar Vortex WTF? I am grateful I have a good treadmill and some Netflix to pass the time. I don’t know how else I would manage. Running helps, it is my therapy.

This isn’t my first time at the S.A.D. rodeo, nor is it my first experience with some type of depression. Shortly after my second son was born I was hit with a serious case of postpartum depression that required medical help so I am well aware of the signs and symptoms of depression. Fortunately for me S.A.D. doesn’t take over my life entirely and I can see through the fog most day but those few days that are rough make talking about it difficult because it makes people uncomfortable. Hell, typing up this post and showing the internet a piece of my truth makes me uncomfortable but if it helps just one person identify this in themselves then it was worth being uncomfortable.

It has taken me two days to write this, I have written and deleted paragraphs and it still seems like a jumbled mess when I read it so let’s call this post what it is … a long and rambling brain dump.


Heading to Cuba in a few days will give my body and brain the much-needed sunshine it needs and I am looking forward to coming home feeling a little less S.A.D. and a lot more joyful. I have scheduled posts to go up while I’m away and I promise they won’t be so dark. :)

For people who think they may be affected, please reach out to your family physician. For further information and help about seasonal affective disorder, contact a community organization like the Canadian Mental Health Association to find out about support and resources in your community.

Do you experience the winter blues?

Meet Anita

I am a wife to a retired Army Captain and present day shepherd, a mother to two Big's (20 & 19) and one Little (6) and new to running at the age of 42. I am hopelessly addicted to Starbucks Peppermint Mocha's. My family thinks I am crazy. The voices in my head say they may be right.

23 Thoughts on “Brain Dump

  1. I do not suffer from the winter blues. While I never take my physical health for granted, I must admit I don’t give my mental health much thought. After reading your blog today I expect I will have a better appreciation for the fact that I am able to enjoy each day for the gift that it is.

  2. Oh yes I can relate. I have put a lamp on my desk at work to help with the effects of SAD. (There’s low lighting in my office on any good day too) My sleeping also suffers so that’s a bit of a challenge for me. I hope Cuba is the right fix for you. Enjoy yourself!
    Crystal recently posted…Into the Mobility of thingsMy Profile

  3. Hi Anita, hey, swing by London on your way to Cuba and pick me up!! I am somewhat familiar with SAD but don’t particularly suffer from it, my job takes me all over the city every day and I mange to catch what little of the sun there might be. Have you investigated SAD lamps, I understand they can be quite beneficial–can’t tell you too much about them but, hey, that’s what Google’s for…? Take care and enjoy the trip!

    • Thanks Brian, when I was working it didn’t seem to get to me as much as it has this winter … getting out of the house and interacting with people make a big difference.

      I think you may be too big for my suitcase but I’ll see what I can do :)

  4. I am so glad you are getting some SUN! Cuba! I can’t wait to hear about it! I completely agree. The california sun did me a little good, but I am right back to hiding in my bed now. Have such a great time!
    Ashley recently posted…Help me win? And other ramblings about being sick.My Profile

  5. Moved to St Albert – north of Edmonton – and ‘dropped my basket’ the first winter. The second winter I met YOU and an amazing group of friends and started to dig my way out of ‘faking life’. Thank you, Anita for sharing. Change is a good thing and your vacation may be just what you need. YaYa!

  6. Well my dearest YaYa once again you are a kindred soul; my winter has weighed a thousand thoughts upon my soul. Only my meditation & run have been my refuge. Looks like Mexico won’t happen until March now. Alas, if each day I remember to smile & breathe I find my through somehow…one foot in front of the other eh my friend?! <3

    • Some days that is all that we have … one foot in front of the other knowing that there is light waiting for us. <3 to you my Ya Ya sister!

  7. I’m sorry that SAD has got you down – as you say, with the ‘polar vortex’ it is hard enough for ANYONE to want to get outside, but for those who are really brought down by it … it is extra hard. Hopefully the change of scenery – and WARMTH – will be refreshing for you!

    For me, it took a bit for me to ‘mentally conquer’ the cold in terms of running, and I just try to keep up habits – I always park far away from the building to get more walking in, which is a pain since the parking lot is windy (meaning extra cold!). Same for food habits … not easy!

    Good luck!
    Michael Anderson recently posted…Throwback Thursday: GenerationsMy Profile

  8. I’m so sorry to hear you are going through a tough time this winter. Thank you for writing about this. I think sometimes people feel like they have to be happy and only talk about the good things on their blog, but it really helps to know if someone is going through a tough time too. I really hope that your trip to Cuba helps you feel better!
    Leana recently posted…My first Boulder BreakdownMy Profile

  9. I’m so sorry that you are having a tough time and it’s wonderful that you are able to head away in a few days to get some sunshine! Kudos to you for writing this post. I think by sharing your experiences you will be able to help a lot of people. I’m generally okay right now, but my mom is pretty badly affected by the winter months. It’s rough.
    Salt recently posted…Yoga for Runners.My Profile

    • Thanks Lauren, it was tough to write but if it helps others understand what some people may be going through it was worth it. Hugs to your mom, it’s not easy.

  10. I definitely think I have a bit of SAD as well. I always get more “down” this time of year and the constant gray days we’ve been having in my city really hasn’t helped. I just need some sunshine! I feel so much more energized and “lighter” when the sun is shining!

  11. I suffer with S.A.D as well….and until just now….I have been denying that I’m there with you….but I am. I want to block others out, remain in my little house and let the world come and go. Luckily, my running group forces me to interact with people as I lead them in runs…if not…I’d never go out.

    We had a week of + temperatures and no snow and it gave me hope. The days are getting longer now and that helps.

    Just know….we are going to come out of this, like we always do. Spring/Summer will arrive and we will once again gain the positiveness back that we usually have. Until then, curl up in your comfy bed…lay your head back and indulge in your netflix. You are going to be okay!!!!!!

    • Thanks for your honest comment, sometimes life isn’t all sunshine and roses and that’s OK. I totally get wanting to huddle up in the house and wait for Spring Courteney, hope you’re feeling less S.A.D. with the warmer temps.

  12. Pingback: The Storm Will Pass. The Spring Will Come. | Dunwaetin

Post Navigation