Winter and S.A.D

It’s currently winter here in Ireland.

Today I’m in Kinsale, a picturesque little town on the southern coast of Ireland, in County Cork and it’s a fresh, sunny, bright afternoon. This may change in the next hour, as the weather here can be very unpredictable and forever changeable…

However for now as I sip my tea in the golden sun shining in through the glass sliding doors here, I am soaking in the warmth, I am soaking in the brightness, I am soaking in the blue sky.

This is how I get through the winters… appreciating the good weather when it is here.

It’s been a little difficult for me in Ireland.

I grew up in New Zealand… I don’t ever remember weather being something that was an issue or hindrance.

We could plan outdoor excursions, picnics, get togethers with the weather generally not disappointing us to do so. Winter weather saw frosty, chilly mornings with clear blue skies, the sun generally warming up the day.

Here, planning outdoor activities isn’t as easy … here’s an example of a Google search on Irelands weather:

“The island of Ireland has an oceanic climate, cool and damp, cloudy and rainy throughout the year. Both the diurnal and the annual temperature ranges are narrow, so both the summer heat and the winter frost are rare.  Temperatures do not vary much in the island … In Ireland, Atlantic weather fronts move relentlessly one after another over the country, resulting in a rapid succession of cloudiness and sunshine, rain showers and subsequent improvements. Days with completely clear skies are rare: the weather is more likely to be variable or unstable, and in the interludes between disturbances you can expect, rather than clear skies, cloud running in the sky.”

That sums it up pretty well!

In the past, experiencing depression has definitely been more prevalent for me during the winter.

If I am not actively conscious about seeking ways to engage with life to feel grounded and content within myself, the dull grey skies can easily dampen my spirits whilst the darkness takes hold.

A friend of mine and the woman I am currently house sitting for said the other day she used to use light therapy to treat her symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Now… she has a dog… which gets her outside for a minimum of 20 minutes at least once a day.

She contributes both the natural light and of course the companionship and love of her pet friend to her not needing to use this therapy anymore, but says she believes the natural light has made a huge impact on her mental health.

So… whilst the sun is out, I’m getting my arse out there with Bongo to soak it up 😀

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