Dealing with my seasonal depression – bye bye summer

Summer in the UK has always been problematic for me and I finally got to realise that I have seasonal depression. It’s something new because I never had this problem in Italy. I’m not used to all the daylight we get here. From June to mid-August, Sun rises at 4am and doesn’t set until 10 o’clock at night. My circadian clock is totally disrupted and I feel sleep-deprived for the whole summer. Because I already have my own problems, lack of sleep doesn’t help and it triggers a whole pattern of high functional anxiety that I still struggle to deal with. Pictures on this article feature the fall blooming at Walmer castle. They are mine as well as all unpopular opinions!

Sunflowers at Walmer Castle

I had been waiting for September to start the whole summer and felt like I needed a new season to finally settle down with my feelings. That hasn’t happened. As much as everyone thinks I have a perfect life, life happens to me too. I had trouble sleeping the whole month and had to listen to a sleeping hypnosis track on Spotify to ease my anxiety and get some rest at night. It’s still unbelievable to me how a small event can throw me in a loop of negative thinking, anxiety and depression. Coincidently, I started reading the best selling book “Eleonor Oliphant is completely fine” and realised that those episodes are constant events in the life of people with mental illness!

I allowed myself to feel what was there to feel and let it go of the idea that life is positive vibes only!

My own
Roses at Walmer Castle

Not long ago, I would punish myself for feeling bad and try to do whatever I could to feel better. This time was different! I just gave myself permission to acknowledge my feelings and time to heal. Covering up, pretending everything was okay, put up a smile and get along with life were toxic behaviours that no longer served a purpose in my life. Bye-bye toxic positivity. However, something did remain the same. In the middle of my worst anxiety, I launched my own event Social media for branding: an introduction for scientists. I honestly wanted this to happen for a very long time. I have been thinking of selling workshops since 2019 but I never managed to execute it. In the middle of my worst anxiety, I did it and I am absolutely thrilled to host it. I wrote a blog article a while ago to convince you why you should sign up. Hurry up and don’t miss the chance to learn about branding from your fav scientist.

People wait for the perfect moment to start something new, I always did in the middle of my worst anxiety and I was successful!

Fall blooming at Walmer Castle

Because this blog article is still intended to track my progress and how well or poorly I did in September, let’s do it. After 1.5 years, I signed up at the gym. I did it! I promise that life does feel normal again. I finish my workday and I exercise to decompress from a long day of mentally and physically demanding research. It does feel good to have a breakout and explore something different than the lab and my sofa. I have been struggling with my motivation to keep active during the whole pandemic. Keeping a routine, forcing myself to do as little as 20 min of workout has been tough. This is no longer the case because going to a place that is designed for this, makes the workout effortless.

Finally, I have been trying to deal with my social anxiety since early 2019. People might think of me as a big cheerleader but I am not. It takes a lot of time and energy for me to spend time with people and socialise. I don’t like being around large groups and my ideal situation is spending time at home with a few trusted friends. However, because life in lockdown hasn’t been easy and I promised myself to be more social, I did make the effort to reach out to people and go out. I do it on my own terms and I still enjoy my Saturday nights at home reading instead of partying. That won’t change anytime soon or possibly ever! It’s still work in progress to find my own things but I no longer strive for perfection only for steady growth!

See you next month! Bye