Winter bleughs!

Is anyone else beginning to struggle with the shortening of days and the cold?
Last night when I was driving home from training it seemed very dark and I just wanted to be tucked up in bed!
I'm a zombie in the mornings and feel snuffly and miserable - want warmth and sunshine!

Does anyone else get sad in winter and apart from running/exercise what have people found helps?

All suggestions gratefully received....


  • I HATE winter. Don't mind the cold (much - although mornings can be a struggle especially as my car is no longer in the first flush of youth and doesn't have air-conditioning etc), but drizzly damp days and the constant threat of runs being rained off and the surgery filling up with people wanting me to give them an instant cure for their colds and flus and, especially, leaving the house in the dark in the morning and arriving home in the dark at night, and even doing afternoon house-calls in the half-light, all get me down a bit.

    Running definitely helped last winter. Getting away - anywhere! - also helps. And nice bright woollens. My worst-ever winter was a few years ago when every garment in the shops was grey or black and make of wool that the cat had been sucking.
  • Cheers V-rap!
    I'm glad to hear that you are human -I was having doubts with all the races!

    So bright woolies mmm -I try to get outside if its bright as much as possible and last year I bought a light box - which is great to work by when its really gloomy

    But on a serious note - anybody run to beat off depression - I'd be interested to hear if it is as helpful as the research says-

    GP thinks my acute zombieness is probably depression and has given Fx (docs know what that is!)
  • Bune,
    I'm not sure about depression, but runnng certainly helps me relax and clear my mind. I tend to be very moody and sometimes I can appear to be (;-0) quite aggressive. I'm not really I just look that way !!!! I always feel better after a long plod round the streets, it fair lightens my moods. I actually enjoy the long winter nights, and weird as I am look forward to winter. Today though the sun is shining and it's lovely and fresh, so I am off out for a 30 mins recovery run.
  • Hi Bune, the other woman in my office suffers from SAD and she has bought a special lamp that she sits on her desk. Its really bright but she says it really helps her. She suffers badly and has a terrible problem with getting up. I think the lamp was expensive but if it works for her then its worth it.
  • NessieNessie ✭✭✭
    I used to get really down in the winter, but some things I find useful are:

    Have lots of lights on at home/in the office to make the room cheery.

    Go out for a walk at lunchtime (sunny or not), to get some idea of what daylight looks like.

    Have nice smelly things on my desk/at home. I've got one of those glass air freshener thingys on my desk just now, smelling of summer flowers.

    Keep your house/desk tidy. I know it sounds strange, but when its yuk outside, tou don't want to come inside to a yuk place.

    Go running - especially on the yukky nights. Coming in from a cold dark night sweating profusely, jumping into a hot shower and then coming downstairs in a cozy dressing gown to a well lit, tidy nice smelling room - preferably to Mr Nessie with a hot drink and a (low fat) cake is a nice feeling.

    I haven't tried bright clothes - I tend to be a black/grey/navy person (oh, and fluorescent yellow) but I may give it a go.
  • There's lots of anecdotal evidence of the benefits of exercise in depression, and a plausible biological explanation, but limited high-grade trial evidence. I know that because one of my colleagues is a keen cyclist and has a regularly-updated dossier of the medical benefits of exercise. I suggest exercise to many of my depressed patients as a "natural" alternative to pills or behaviour therapy. Surprisingly few of them take up the idea. Maybe they're afraid they'll end up like me.

    I don't think I've got full-blown seasonal affective disorder - I know I haven't! - but, like a lot of people, I find the world a nicer place when the sun is shining out of a blue sky.

    One consolation. I've just been out for an afternoon run, and one loop took me past the mosque just as it was disgorging a crowd of men. It occurred to me that when the weather is chilly enough to run with only my head and hands exposed, I'm less likely to offend the people who live near my workplace. I draw the line at putting a scarf over my head, though.
  • Thanks for the posts
    I think the change from summer to winter over the past few days (skipping autumn!)has just trigged my seasonally cyclical blip.

    I just feel soooo tired!

    on a serious note anyone any experience of running on Prozac ( or got a friend who has)

  • I wouldn't expect Prozac to affect your ability to run, Bune, and it might just make those mornings more bearable (unless you're one of the unfortunate souls who gets a dry mouth as a side-effect).

  • s'funny you should say that doc...

    dry mouth won't interfere with walk/run/shuffle/scuttle
  • Poor Bune!
  • reading the forum threads both cheers me up and inspires me to get out there!

    ta folks!
  • LizzyBLizzyB ✭✭✭
    I live in Iceland and soon we´re going to have dusk at midday for a few hours ... then dark again. It´s my first winter here and Í know it´s going to be challenging!

    But as I work freelance, I plan to run during the couple of hours when it´s light to make the most of the day. Or that´s the plan at the moment ...

    Bune, there´s a lot of information in ´The Lore of Running´(weighty tome, good read) about the benefits of exercise as a treatment for depression.

  • You could always try my daughters trick...

    Go to Australia for six months.

    She says for warm weather training. I say its to lie around on Bondi beach at my expense.

    I try to find something in every season. I like the colours of Autumn, and I like to be able to go out on clear Winters evenings and look at the stars, and I know that there's going to be at least one day when everythings frozen solid - and I'll finish work early and go for a run in the woods. The brook will be frozen, there'll be icicles hanging from the trees - magical!!

    I have to agree with VRap though. Those Mizzley grey days are a bit challenging !!

  • I actually like the seasons - autumn colours, winter sunshine, December sunsets and so on and then spring flowers popping up in january and february and i do try to appreciate the seasons and not winge about the weather -after all I'm pretty lucky comparitvely

    I have also played hockey for the past 25 winters in all sorts of weather across the North of England - rain sleet snow howling gales so I'm pretty hardy.

    Its probably me rather than the weather - I just cant get warm at the moment and feel horribly tired so Ill just think about Greece in August!
  • I find that running near/in large parklands and areas of greenery helps my perspective on things tremendously.

    Plants and trees have a natural beauty that changes with the seasons and can remind us that it's okay for us to change a little bit with each season, too. Just as there is less daylight in the winter, perhaps there is nothing all that wrong with us human beings feeling a little "darker" or "colder" in the winter.

    Buildings, streets and cars don't change very much with the seasons, and therefore can knock us out of synch with the natural rhythms that are around us.

    But, then again, I am typing into a forum at 2:30 in the morning, so what do I know?
  • Cheers Robert

    I agree - the golf course is a bit of a therapeutic refuge right now especially as autumn is here in style - find if I go out as soon as I get up and head for the trees and trails i feel a bit better immediately.

    Anyway RW never has shots of runners in the pouring rain on desolate industrial sites!
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