Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder...

(Turkeys in my back yard last winter...)

Well, so much for doing better on blogging. I give up making any more promises. I will catch you up on what's been going on this winter. I guess in the last post, I talked about light boxes, so I'll start there. The new one, from Northern Light Technologies, made in Canada, I tried just didn't seem to do it. I wanted it to, I really did. It was white light, so supposed to be better for your eyes. No glare, tilted down instead of up. It was big and awkward, and took up one end of my dining room table. I did get some great Bible reading time in during my sessions though, and I continue t0 read a chapter nearly every day. A great habit to get into, and not only reading it, but really studying it and understand what the author was trying to say. It sure helps to read the entire book consecutively, as it helps put things in perspective and you get an understanding of his point.
Anyway. I finally ended up sending the light box back. It was over $200, and I had only 30 days to try it. Thank goodness Amazon has such an excellent return policy. It did come with a piece broken, so I didn't have to pay return shipping. I ordered another one, this time a Verilux Happy Light. This one is lighter, about the same size, but has a built in stand so it sits on your desktop, but also has a keyhole so you can hang it on your wall. So, I've been using in the wall, about 3 feet from me. Now, it says to be within about 12" from your face for 1/2 hour, but this makes my eyes ache, a fair amount of nausea, and a bit of a headache, so I left it on the wall, turned on, while I do my internet stuff in the morning.
It's been a slow process. I think it helps some, but my problem has been compounded with 2 colds in the last month. Yes, you read that right! 2! about 4 weeks apart. The first one was a real nasty one - severe sinus pressure and pain, runny nose, scratchy throat, fatigue. What fun. Then, just as the very last of the first cold was leaving, another one came. Not as bad, but it sure is taking it's sweet time in leaving. It seems I've been sick for 6 weeks now. And tired the whole time. No energy. Down, unmotivated, wasn't able to exercise consistently, and it's winter. More fun.
I am getting over now though as we speak, still runny nose, but a bit more energy. I started walking again last week. Far cry from the treadmill, bike and elliptical plus weights I was doing at the gym, but I am getting there. I am really struggling with the light box thing, though. I am to the point I am willing to buy back the first blue light. I felt SO GOOD while doing that. A lot more energy, motivation, well being - things I really like! :0)
I am thinking of keeping this light box from Verilux, and using both - the blue light for a shortened period of time each day, with the other light filling in. Have to see how that works. Seems the blue light is the most effective treatment, but comes with it's hazards, like glare and headache. So perhaps I'll modify my treatment to try to eliminate these. I've really struggled with nausea too, with the Verilux when using it up close. Lasts nearly all day.
I'm still having a hard time getting up mornings - this wasn't hardly a problem with the blue light therapy. Perhaps I should try the Dawn Simulator. These dark mornings, now again with the time change, make things harder. A Dawn Simulator starts about 30 minutes before you want to walk up, with a gradual lightening, just like real dawn does. Tells your body 'Wake up!'
Another thing with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is the latitude where you live. Seems if you are subject to this, the further north you live, the harder it is. Since I live in New England, can't get too much further north, although it does make a difference from living in Maine and NB. I did notice we have a lot more days of sunshine here in CT than northern Maine. I found a document online which said that Caribou Maine gets 59 days of sunshine per year, and Hartford about 82. That's total sunshine, not including partly sunny/partly cloudy days. I know there are a lot of partly cloudy days up north. We have less days of precipitation too. Most sunny days seems to be in the desert area of the US, like Arizona, Nevada, etc. Well, there's no way I'm moving there! I am definitely not a desert person. I like my green trees, flowers, grass, etc.
However, I am entertaining the idea of a move further south, especially in retirement. The only problem is, I don't like excessive heat and humidity. That can also trigger a more rare form of SAD. And even rarer, is a combination of the two. With my luck, I likely have both. yeah...
I know I get quite frustrated in the heat and humidity, but I think if I had a swimming pool, nothing fancy mind you, it would help. Also, a deck NOT painted brown. Can you say 'hot hot hot!!'? :0)
Well, I'll just say, I will be glad to find something that works, and get on with my life, because this is certainly a major downer every winter (pardon the pun). I want to enjoy life year round. Yes!

So that's what's been preoccupying my time lately. Isn't that exciting? :0)) On a lighter note, I'm running out of my homemade soap I stocked up on in December from one of our local farms - Cupola Hollow Farms. They make excellent goat's milk soap - once you try it, you may never go back to store bought soap again. I know I won't. The ladies will open up likely the end of this month, hopefully. I see one of our favorite ice cream places has moved down the road from their original spot, can't wait! This warm weather certainly gets one in the mood. It has been in the 70's the past couple of days. About 20 degrees above normal. I don't know what that's going to say about this summer. I wish I could summer in Maine - just the summer. It is so nice up there July and August. Fresh cool breezes, warm summer days, fresh fresh air, and such a feeling of laid back contentedness. How well I remember from our years there. It's such a slower pace of life, so much more relaxing than here. But you also need to remember the long cold winters, and bug season. Oh. Yeah. If you go too early in the summer, be prepared for the onslaught of blackflies. Especially north of Bangor. And mosquitoes. Lots of swampy boggy places for them to thrive up there.
Speaking of, we saw our first mosquitoes of the season here this week! And yesterday, we heard spring peepers. I love listening to them in the evening. It's early in the season, so I hope we don't have any more snow or late season hard freeze. Although at this point it time, it's anyone's guess if we will.
Well, I better go. Housework is calling, and maybe some time in the sun on the deck while these unseasonably warm days are here.
I hope everything is going well in your neck of the woods.
God bless and keep you.