Wish You Were Here
I am sure each of us has a long list of friends and family that we want to see and hug as soon as it is allowed. But until then, how can we cope?
Photo by Simon Berger from Pexels
I knew about Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) long before I moved to the UK, the land of supposed year-round dreary weather and showery summers. I thought I recognised it in my father-in-law, with whom I spoke every week when we lived in equatorial Indonesia. He used to give us a rundown of the awful weather that past week, to which our response would always be, “Oh it’s 34 degrees here today, same as every other day.” Furthermore, the sun rose reliably at six o’clock in the morning and set at six at night.
As a newcomer to a temperate climate and changing seasons, I didn’t let it affect me, though. I made an effort to get acclimatised as soon as possible by not wearing too many layers as the year get colder and the days darker.
It worked. I only wore thermals in the winter at bedtime because the nights were truly bitter. But the past month has largely been rainy, grey and muddy. Add on lockdown with three small children in the house and you have the perfect recipe for low moods and periods of worry.
Those who suffer from SAD have imbalances in the hormones and neurotransmitters that regulate sleep and mood. It’s no wonder that many people feel down during these dark times. It may affect us all in some way, and as we ease into spring and then summer, the longer days are a relief to many.
Others are not so fortunate. Mental health issues have been on the rise in the past year. We’ve had crises, worries, hopes dashed and plans abruptly changed. With uncertainty a big driver of anxiety, it’s not hard to see why the past few months have taken such a heavy toll.
So what can we do to help those with such issues? It’s as simple as being a friend. I find that befriending someone new is both a thrill and a way to dig deep into fond memories. And I enjoy meeting new people and finding that many share my hopes and fears.
Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels
They say that a problem shared is a problem halved, and it is our duty to ease the burdens of others, so pick up the phone, chat online, meet when restrictions allow and don’t be alone or leave others alone. And God bless the hawthorn blossom and the blooming daffodils.