S.A.D – Seasonal Affective Disorder

Black Woman living with S.A.D

S.A.DSeasonal Affective Disorder commonly referred to as the Winter Blues/Depression. This effects around 1 out of 15 people within the UK. Symptoms tend to originate in people between the ages of 20 – 30 but children are not immune to it, they can also be affected. Women are four times more likely to experience S.A.D than men but again men are also not immune to this disorder.

It wasn’t until the age of 17/18 did I get a full understanding of S.A.D. I distinctly remember having a conversation with my foster sister LD about depression. I had noticed a pattern within myself. Although I had suffered from depression as a whole, when it reached the winter season I would notice a change in my behaviour. Becoming more emotional, dismissive, sometimes experiencing more suicidal thoughts than let’s say during the spring/summer season.

At the time I didn’t understand my behaviour and just put it down to bi-polar behaviour as during these periods my behaviour, on a spectrum would have been classed as extreme erratic behaviour.

Understanding S.A.D

LD was able to educate me on what S.A.D actually was, the causes/effects of S.A.D and ways to manages it. LD embraced me with her knowledge, included me in something that I had believed only I had struggled with. So to learn that S.A.D was a very common disorder, made me actually happy.

`Now don’t go wild on me just yet` let me explain my reasons for happiness lol. All this time I had believed that there were multiple things, unexplainable things wrong with me. So to have a reason or to be given a somewhat psychological understanding into my behaviour. It was a relief to say the least. 

 

How To Manage The Winter Blues

The cheapest and easiest way to manage/treat S.A.D is LIGHT. Try to get as much light as possible whether that be natural sunlight or light produced by a Light-Box. This is a special lamp which stimulates the sunlight missing during the winter seasons.

There have been mixed reviews, in regards to whether the lightbox therapy actually works. I don’t think it’s something your doctor would provide but it is something that they would suggest. (My doctor suggested rather than recommended just to be clear on that.)

It is believed that light therapy aid’s with S.A.D by encouraging our brains to reduce the amount of melatonin (sleepy hormone) produced and instead increase the amount of serotonin within us.

FYI: Melatonin is a hormone we all have that causes us to be sleepy and tired. Serotonin is a hormone produced that affects our moods, it contributes towards our well-being and happiness.

Other Methods to Manage S.A.D

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
  • Anti-Depressants
  • You could also try regular exercise, changing your diet for a healthier option and taking steps to manage depression.

If you suffer from S.A.D, I would like to hear about what it is you do to manage it. What methods have you tried yourself & do you have any further suggestions that aren’t included above. Leave a comment, I would love to hear feedback from you all.

Signature for S.A.D blog post.

Exhale the Bull….

Exhale the Bull….

I used to be out every weekend socialising around the town, drinking away the hurt, the pain, the feeling of shame.

I used to be surrounded by beautiful individuals with such big characters but in the back of my mind, I didn’t belong I was just the girl that could hold her liquor.

I used to be care free, easy going, ready to conquer the world. Now I fear my own shadow, afraid of what pain the world might bring next.

My heart is weighed down by the beautiful prospect of my future, can my feet walk in the direction of my “destiny” or are they rooted in place, held down by the fear of releasing my heart to freedom.

Do I exhale the bullsh*t & set it free? 

Can I set it free

Am I so used to living with the pain that the thought of releasing myself to the universe, the thought of potential happiness, the thought of exhaling the bullsh*t….frightens my soul?

How long will I be waiting to Exhale?

 

 

 

Meditating every evening before bed is something new I’ve implemented into my night routine. Being able to end the day correctly & positively is a task for me but hopefully with guidance & perseverance, I can master this task.

 

I’ve listed a few things below that I’ve found helpful in centring myself as well as meditation tips. 

 

Black Moms Guide to Calm

Zen Habits

Head Space

 

 

 

 

 

Below you will find a meditation video, that I personally found extremely honest & helpful.

 

 

 

 

 

Just to clarify for my readers, no I haven’t become a poet in my time away. I just had thoughts in my mind that I felt the need to express & release.

2018..What a Year!

2018..What a Year!

Poof…..and out of nowhere she appears again!

Guyssssssssss (and I mean that in the most gender neutral way possible) it has been quite some time since I posted any form of content on social media. A year and 5 months to be exact and for that I want to start of by genuinely apologising to my readers for my abstinence. It did not start of as something done intentionally but the more time passed the more I settled into my routine and it didn’t include Cocktail Minds. There were times during this long period where I wanted to write and post but felt that my content wasn’t worthy for my readers. I literally  set dates and goals for when I would get Cocktail Minds back up and running but nothing ever seemed to go to plan. A year and three months later and finally my creative juices started flowing again. I have been dyinggg to get back to Cocktail Minds despite all the madness that’s currently going on in my life but before we get into the current shenanigans let me just give you a quick rundown of 2018.

January

Started off ever so blessed, I was focused on the Law of Attraction, I was so motivated, eating well, speaking positive daily, I remember having a conversation with an old friend and telling them that I would be back to my normal self again, I specifically remember speaking into existence a new job role in February 2018 and lo and behold January 28th I received a phone call for a job position, come February 1st I would be settling into my new job role quite well.

February

I was in a new role and I was loving being back in a work environment after being away from it for so long, I set a routine for myself and AJ, he started nursery which was such a big thing for the both of us. For me it was having to leave him with strangers and being away from him that got to me but whewww chile that end of the month salary was calling out too me differently and as a single mother I made that choice to go back to work. I had a lot of people telling me not to, that it would jeopardise AJ’s growth. How? I really do not know but you know when you just have to remind individuals that they aren’t the ones paying your bills. Anyway I was going with the flow enjoying my new role. 

At the end of February, my friends and I had to experience the 1st Anniversary of our good friend Juel’s death. To be quite honest with you, I thought that I had somewhat overcome his death, not that I had forgotten about him or the events that took place but more because I had spent 2017 grieving his death in such an unhealthy manner that when I had finally began to heal and view life in a positive way I thought I was overcoming his death. Oh the lies one tells thy self lol.

March

There were two lives I was living, my depressed life and my positive life. My depressed self didn’t understand why I was still alive, I didn’t understand what I had to offer to the world when they’re were others who were amazing people but sadly were not able to live their full life. I felt lonely and secluded from the world not sure how to express myself. I definitely did not understand how I was functioning in life but somehow I was, that was my positive side, waking up everyday for work, helping vulnerable people with housing, substance mis-use, family issues, depression, anxiety, you name it, I was putting my energy into trying to help these individuals. It was crazy to me because some of the advice & support I was offering these individuals was the same advice  I needed to hear myself but for some reason just weren’t able to take in and digest. This left me feeling weak, confused and disappointed in myself. 

My birthday came round, for those of you that aren’t aware its March 19th. So imagine, leading up to my birthday the one thing that I really wanted was a new car, my car at the time was ricketyyyy, had a whole mind of its own, it would start and cut out when it felt like it, some days it wouldn’t even turn on, my birthday was no exception. I woke up feeling positive looking forward to my birthday lunch, I had gotten myself and AJ ready for the day, loaded the car up ready to head off for the nursery run and yup ze’ car was not having it, I thought ‘that’s it for me’, days over before it even began. Back upstairs we went, I remember being on the phone to a friend filling her in on the situation and she just kept advising me to stay positive, no matter what was thrown at me to show the universe I could take it and rise above it, she was able to calm my anxiety and steer me towards finding a solution rather than allowing my anxiety to take over and end my day before it  had started. So as I was waiting for my friend to head towards me I contacted the RAC they were able to jumpstart my car, thank the heavens, then out of nowhere I receive a phone call with an offer for a brand new car….I kid you not, the stars we aligning It seemed like everything that I was asking from the universe was coming to me. So that day I got myself a brand new car & decided the Law of Attraction was finally working in my favour again, let me give it my all & that’s exactly what I did.

Between April and June I put everything into working full time, I devoted myself to the company and completely lost myself, it was only after being stabbed with a used needle (I got checked out straight away & I’m good, no worries lol) that I took a step back to realise I had immersed myself again into something that was soul draining so after going back and forth with myself, I chose to leave the job. The same day that I quit that job, I received 4 job offers from business competitors. I was so gassed, I felt like the universe was finally hearing my prayers, the  following week I started a new job. Honestly the job was great to begin with until slowly my anxiety couldn’t deal with being discriminated against (will most certainly be writing a follow up post on this), & suffice to say a year later (in 2019 before you all start thinking I can’t hold a job lol), I quit that job too but that’s a post for another day.

Anyway the rest of the year breezed by I made some major changes, moving home & city hoping it would help my mental state…..did it heck. Guys the way I really believed I had messed things up good & proper, I thought that was me done, finito.  Well so I thought……..

Come back next week for part 2 but be sure to have a read of the other posts on Le’ Cocktail Minds..x

Procrastination

Procrastination

This is a quick short posts I really wanted to put out there because I’ve found one of my biggest weaknesses…Procrastination.

I’ve always been aware that I possessed the great skill of procrastination but I didn’t realise how talented I was at procrastinating, I am very talented believe me! I set myself a task this week which I half completed because I allowed myself to be distracted by Murder She Wrote (yes I’m a fan, don’t judge lol) & instead of getting back to work when the episode ended I decided to watch Two Seasons instead, telling myself I had plenty of time  (procrastination at its finest).

Have you ever been sitting, daydreaming away & all of a sudden a 💡 goes off in your head. A Project idea you’ve been trying to put together, A recipe you’ve been trying to re-create or maybe even bills & letters that you’ve been meaning to get too but have been avoiding until that 💡flickered , gave you a bit of energy.
So there you are ready to start completing your task & then that little voice in your head starts niggling away…

‘Do it tomorrow.’ 🤥
‘You’ve got plenty of time to do it.’🤥🤥
‘It’s not going anywhere.’🤥🤥🤥
‘Put on Murder She Wrote.’🤦🏾‍♀️

Let the procrastinating begin….

Next thing you know it’s a week later & you still haven’t completed anything, papers are still in the same pile you left them in & once again your waiting for that lightbulb to go off.
Imagine the amount of opportunities missed within that week or the progress that could of been made & at the end of the day who was it that stopped your progression…nobody but yourself. You allowed the little devil on your shoulder to destroy your confidence & keep you down. Only recently (today) did I realise how easily I allow myself to be distracted & once distracted all energy, excitement, confidence is taken out of me.

1 Peter 5:8 ~ Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Once you allow that small voice to wedge itself into your subconscious, it begins to plant seeds of self-doubt, having you question your ideas & your ability to go through with them. Once again the procrastination begins, if this sounds familiar to you, wouldn’t you agree that it’s time for a change?

Tip : When I know I’ve got work to complete or posts to write I begin by listing my daily tasks for the day in prioritised order & then follow with putting on my noise cancelling headphones & getting to work. That’s it!  My music takes over & encourages me to flow with the day rather than run from it. As Les Brown says “It’s not over until you win, your dream is possible.”
As long as you keep trying Everyday & cancelling out the noise from that small voice there’s nothing stopping you from winning.!

Peace + Love 

🧡

World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day

So Today, (10/10/17) is Mental Health Awareness Day, (yes I am completely aware of the date shown on the post).  Although the focus & awareness for Mental Health should not be limited to one day today is the day where around the world we take a minute to stop, acknowledge and support the fight against Mental Health.
This year the World Health Organisation (WHO) are spotlighting Mental Health within the Workplace, a topic not discussed enough.

When you feel swamped with emotions & weighed down by your anxiety, work is the last thing you want to concentrate on, socialising with colleagues just seems intolerable but yet you feel obligated to participate & continuously attempt to work efficiently. Credits due if your able to hold your poise within your work place & bury your feelings but I believe (& this is just my personal opinion) that doing this will later cause one of two things;- 1. An outburst within your workplace resulting in a weird/uncomfortable work setting for yourself & colleagues or 2. You begin to view work as a negative space, the thought of waking up to go to work everyday puts you in a foul mood resulting in a negative attitude towards work. Both result in an unproductive work setting.

The aim for this years Mental Health Awareness is to encourage Employers & Managers to implement methods to support Mental Health within the workplace by promoting the health, safety & wellbeing of all employees. I read a couple methods that would be great if implemented within the workplace correctly;
– Addressing negative workplace dynamics
– Job redesign
– Flexible hours
– Supportive & Confidential communication with management

It’s time to talk guys, if you feel like your workplace needs a bit of encouragement in supporting mental health don’t be afraid to bring it to your manager. Help spread the message guys.

Peace + Love
💛

 

Side note: I am aware of the date I posted, I actually fell asleep before getting the chance to post on the 10th. My apologies.x

Goodreads