S.A.D. – my struggle

Since it is the winter equinox I’d like to talk about something that effects me quite severely. S.A.D. or Seasonal Affective Disorder, a type of depression caused by a biochemical imbalance in the hypothalamus de to the shortening of days and lack of winter sunlight. It effects about 7-10% of the UK population, including ME!!!

 

Until this year it is something that I have battled with on quite an intense level. I didn’t want to socialise, I ate shit, and I didn’t even want to train! December was always the worst month for me, with my birthday, my girlfriend’s birthday, and xmas all rolled into one month, it was a stressful time of year! December was always the month that training halted, Lbs began to creep on (in a bad way) and motivation was at an all time low.

 

So, what has changed? For the first time in 4-5 years why have I not been affected by it? What magic cure or Christmas miracle has occurred? Well, it’s no secret and I’ll tell you what I have done to make sure it doesn’t get me down this year.

 

1) Goals have been set – the very reason for me making this blog, the Miami Pro UK Championships 2013, has given me more drive than I can remember. If I’m going to stand a chance at winning, there can be NO slacking during this month. I’ve even asked my gym if they are open on Xmas eve and Boxing day. Set your sights on something and DON’T LET ANYONE OR ANYTHING COME IN THE WAY OF REACHING YOUR DREAMS.

 

2) Vitamin D3 liquid form – Our bodies make Vitamin D from the sun. I think most people who did GCSE Biology should know this. Obviously in winter time we get less sunlight (and in Manchester you’re lucky to get any, it’s constantly grey here!!!) so to combat this I supplement with 3000-5000IU of Vit D3 with omega 3 fish oil (enough to make 5g EPH and DHA collectively). These can be picked up relatively cheaply from myprotein.co.uk opt for the 1000 caps omega 3 for best value.

 

3) Positive people – this is a trickier one. I have tried to surround myself with positive people, and try and force out the negative ones (especially hard with they are a constant in your life such as work colleagues/friends/neighbours/even family). I follow a lot of athletes and motivational speakers on twitter and find they are a great source of drive and indirect encouragement. Also, people who constantly nag or moan on facebook have been swiftly deleted as I dont want that energy brought into my life, I don’t need that shit! Go moan to someone else and let me get on with becoming a better person, a winner!

 

If you suffer from this, or didn’t know about this disorder and it sounds like you do, there are plenty of ways you can fight it and live a happier life throughout winter. I think in this entire autumn/winter I’ve had one day where it has got me down this year, rather than the ongoing struggle with it in past years! I won’t let it get to me this year!

 

It’s a mindset – go out there and enjoy yourself!

 

Joel

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