I’ve decided that this week is the toughest week of the year for equestrians. It’s a glumpy week – gloomy and makes you down in the dumps.
When I was on my first aid course on Monday a lot of the freelance instructors berating the weather and how depressing they found this time of year.
Although I don’t share the same level of depression, I can see where they’re coming from. It’s less than a week until the shortest day and if you’re anything like me you’re fighting a losing battle against darkness. The days are dark and gloomy. Yesterday was heavy fog and it never got light – at midday I felt as though it was nearer to three pm. Thankfully today was bright and sunny, which lightened the mood of all on the yard.
This time of year the wet and mud is also dragging us down. You try taking one step forwards and sliding half a step back across the field. The novelty wears thin after a while. Rugs are wet, heavy and muddy, and before Christmas it seems never ending. As soon as I reach the other side of Christmas I feel more positive; spring is coming!
Regardless of your job I think this week is tough: kids are on their final week of the school term and either ratty with tiredness or excited with the concept of Christmas. Or a combination of the two. Meanwhile adults are on the final push with work, desperately looking towards their time off over the festive season whilst also internally panicking about how many presents are left to buy or cards that need to be written.
In psychology A-level we studied SAD, which describes a depression that is linked to winter months. You can see why: if you’re an outdoor person then limited time spent outdoors is bound to affect your mood, but I also think that there is a correlation between levels if vitamin D and depression. Fewer hours of sunlight equals less vitamin D in the body, which causes a lower mood. Which in theory means that I am in the best position not to get SAD because I’m outdoors so am generating vitamin D all the time.
What other struggles is everyone having at this time of year? And does anyone suffer from SAD?