September has always been my ‘New Year’. Having been in education for all my life, it is the month when it all starts again. Last year I thought this September things would be different, but I’m now doing an MA, so back we go again.
September is a month of new expectations, new aspirations and thicker jumpers. I have always been a bit in love with the feelings it brings over me. Yet, there are things I need to prepare myself for too.
SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) is a mood disorder caused by the patterns of the seasons.
While it can affect people in summer, it is more common in winter when the days get shorter and darker. SAD can cause a lack of energy, difficulty in getting up in the morning and a withdrawal from social activity.
The NHS estimates that about 2 million of us in the UK are affected by this disorder, and I can count myself as one of them. As much as I love the colder nights and autumnal leaves, as soon as the days start getting shorter, I feel panicked. Time gets away from me, and I begin to feel like days are over before I’ve had a chance to appreciate them.
SAD for me can be slow and hard to notice. There are various products that you can buy to help treat it, such as timed lights to help you get up in the morning. I’ve heard these do wonders for people’s moods in winter, but I’ve come to find relying on myself a more rewarding practice.
The key, I often find, is realising why the darker moods are coming on.
On those days I accept that I may have a slow start to the day or be a bit irritable. I have always found writing helps, and I often plot how I’m feeling from day to day so I can understand what’s going on upstairs.
If you’re patient with yourself, bad moods are often much easier to get out of. Realising why they’re occurring, even if it’s just because you woke up in the dark that morning, are the first step to feeling better about the day.
September is my month of mixed feelings. Autumn is my happiest season, but winter is always a bit harder. While I love the onset of colder days and falling leaves, I start to dread the really cold days where everything feels a just a bit laborious.
For now, I’m concentrating on the things I’m looking forward to in the colder seasons. I’m going to hold on to my September anticipation and excitement for as long as possible. I’m ready for what winter has to throw at me, SAD and all.
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