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Making some progress!

Friday, January 04, 2013

After four days of light therapy I am still experimenting. For example the overhead lights above my computer are daylight bulbs, and though not as direct as my desk lamp, it's a nice re-charge. However last night, I used them too late, and so didn't go to bed until after 11 PM and then slept poorly.

I'm also trying harder to go to bed and get up at the same time daily. I use my dawn simulator then my visor or desk lamp for (at least) 30 minutes in the morning, and again in the evening or sit at my computer with the overhead lights. I still am giving it 2 weeks before I make any decisions or start taking any other supplements for it.

It's hard though. I feel the best in the mornings - especially after I use my light, but then feel more tired in the afternoon and late afternoons. I find if I do my "recharge" about an hour after sunset, I can generally stay up until a normal hour to go to sleep.

Therefore I'm undecided about staying long-term, or if I should move somewhere sunnier. Then I go for a glorious trail run and think it's worth staying even if I have to sit by a lamp every day. I've not yet gone skiing as I've not had the energy to get all my gear together, go buy the various passes I need and then drive out, etc. I also want to make sure my conditioning is up to par. But that is one consideration though - if I am too tired to do the things I love, not sure if it's worth living closer to them.

I used to live in Phoenix and had no problems with depression there, and was extremely social and energetic. However there I felt it was too hot to go out and do things like running. So, I also think if you always look for the perfect place, you may never find it. So maybe I should just do my best here and then decide. At the same time, I don’t want to get too tied into a place that is not a good fit. I did that with the last place I lived and was miserable for several years. This is just one time of the year I’m having problems though, hopefully the lights will continue to help and my mood will then improve naturally once spring hits.

That being said, my workouts have definitely improved with the increased energy from the lights. From not working out at all and just wanting to sleep, I now do about a half hour of running or the cross country skier daily, and started a new strength program from the book, “You Are Your Own Gym: The Bible of Bodyweight Exercises”, by Mark Lauren. I discovered there is a guided phone app available. I am doing a 4x a week plan for now. I am going to see about joining an official gym soon. I am also considering starting to teach group exercise again too, but it’s all so much right now. I wish I had my energy back and clarity, things and decisions would be a lot easier.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    I'm so glad you're finding things that help! A lot of people here find they suffer from SAD to one degree or another; everything else you've gone through the last few months no doubts exacerbates things, but it sounds like you're on the right track. Hopefully you'll find just the right combination that helps and be able to stay long enough to enjoy our beautiful summers here. Happy New Year!
    1992 days ago
  • COOP9002
    Glad to hear you're making progress.
    1992 days ago
    Give yourself some time to see how it goes. I use the lamp, too, and it really makes a difference. I live in WI and have always grown up in the Midwest, so used to it I guess.

    Good luck moving forward. HUGS
    1992 days ago
  • JACKIE542
    You are working on things and that is what counts, good for you. I bet the trail run was beautiful. Take good care.
    1992 days ago
    I think it is a combo---your dad's passing, the move, the being disorganized and not feeling settled---that combo and the lack of sunlight would have a big impact on anyone. Give yourself some time---and maybe increase the light use a bit more. But see, you are making some progress and getting moving is probably helping a lot.
    1992 days ago
  • JLITT62
    Well, you could've been here where it was FORTY degrees colder than in Seattle yesterday. I'm a morning person, so I always get tired in the afternoon, too - but that's just tbe way I'm wired. But I also know how much better I feel when the sun is out - even if it's cold.

    I'm sure you'll figure out what's best for you, but don't judge by the winter alone!
    1992 days ago
    You're making progress! Good things are coming. Here's hoping for a good dy today!
    1992 days ago
  • SHEILA1505
    Happy to hear of some progress - and some hope in your voice.
    1992 days ago
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