Friday, 29 January 2016

Coping with Seasonal Affective Disorder

I have been suffering with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)  for a few years now. I can generally feel it descending once the clocks go back. I have less energy, my mood is low and EVERYTHING becomes more of an effort. I feel tired most of the time and I find that I need to have a quick nap when I get home from work. My brain turns to mush and I have to write everything down otherwise I just forget (which has got me into a pickle at work once or twice).  I am good at making plans because I write them down but actioning them unless there is a specific urgency does not happen. Most of the time I feel like I am on auto-pilot doing the day to day things and emotionally I feel cut off.  I can feel the difference in myself once the clocks go forward and it feels like a huge weight has been taken off me.

Once it was recognised I looked into how to cope with it and minimise the symptoms. The first thing I invested in was the light therapy with a lamp and an alarm clock that turned on a light before the alarm went off so I wasn’t waking up in the dark. I found that although it was easier to get up but during the day it didn’t help as my desk was in a really dark corner.

When I changed jobs I was in a room that let in loads of light and I did find that it wasn’t as bad. Unfortunately as it was only a temporary contract then that wasn’t a long term option. In my current role, my first couple of years involved sitting nowhere near a window and the artificial light was rubbish and I really struggled. Luckily I spoke to my boss and when we moved offices last year I was able to make sure that I am sat near a window.

This year hasn’t need as bad as I have done other things to help. I am taking a Vitamin D supplement and a friend recommended 5HTP tablets which increase the production of serotonin which helps with sleep and depression. I have tried to eat better and not rely as much on refined sugar to give me energy.  I am also trying not to be too harsh on myself when I don’t get as much done as I was hoping off my to do list. I try to tackle at least one task a day even if it only takes a couple of minutes, at least something is getting done. I am hoping doing the 52 week challenge will keep me on track.

Exercise is also recommended but I admit it is hard to get motivated to exercise at the best of times so I cannot comment on whether this helps or not.

The main difference for me this year has been to take time out to do something I enjoy as this has been the first winter where I have been going to craft/ quilting club. I look forward to Monday evenings as I have to go out and in the past I have always found excuses in the past about not doing crafting at home.

S.A.D can make winter a tough time for people who suffer from it. I hope some of the things I do may help you.

Let me know anything you have tried that helps you cope with S.A.D.


Monday, 11 January 2016

Menu Plan (11th January 2016)

I am at home all this week but still out two evenings with the W.I. The pulled pork and donner kebabs went down a treat with the family last week so here is hoping for another successful week. 

Monday - Leftovers (either from the fridge or freezer)
Tuesday - Homemade Roasted Butternut Squash soup and crusty bread
Wednesday - Garlic Pork steaks and roasted vegetables
Thursday - Salmon, potatoes and green beans
Friday - Steak, Spinach, Mushrooms and Tomatoes
Saturday - Homemade Calzone
Sunday - Slow cooked beef stew.

Linking up to Mrs M and Organising Junkie as usual.

Have a good week


Saturday, 9 January 2016

Organising challenge Week 1

The first weeks' challenge was to take down the Christmas decorations put all the important dates into my planner.

The decorations were taken down last Sunday and although I love having them up before and during Christmas, after Boxing Day I am itching to take them down. I do wait until after New Year though for the kids. Once they were taken down it always surprises me just how the house can seem to breathe again now there was less clutter. I can't wait to start de-cluttering every room. I recently purchased the Marie Kondo book that everyone is raving about. I have started to dip into it. Although she advocates clearing by category I am going to clear by room, simply because things of a certain category are generally found in a certain room. The only exception to that rule is my craft supplies as I need to get Craig to sort out his crap in the office (wait until you see the before picture of this room later in the year) then all my craft supplies will be in one place.

The second part of the challenge was to write down all the important dates in my planner. 

Important dates can include

  • Birthdays and Anniversaries
  • Medical Appointments
  • Insurance renewals
  • Subscription renewals
  • Car tax, insurance, MOT renewals
  • Holidays - school, work and family
I have found that task quite easy to do and it didn't take too long as I just needed to copy them from my old diary.

(A5 Ring bound planner from Paperchase)

(My customised divider for Days)

( List of birthdays and anniversaries)

(Example of things due in a month)

I do have another planner which I use which is smaller and in there I tend to write more about what is happening on a daily basis. This I keep in my handbag. I will tell you more about that in another post.

Looking forward to week 2.


Monday, 4 January 2016

Menu Plan (4th January 2016)

Well a New Year and back to menu planning with a vengeance. I didn't plan for the last couple of weeks as we tended to be with family and friends and I didn't cook much at home.  Now things are getting back to normal then it is time to start planning again.  I am away with work on Wednesday and Thursday so Craig is in charge those nights but the rest of week is as follows

Monday - BLT sandwich and Fruit
Tuesday- Sausage Roll, Chips and Beans
Wednesday - Craig to sort
Thursday - Craig to sort
Friday- Turkey Bolognese with Spaghetti and Garlic Bread
Saturday - Homemade Donner Kebabs from the Hairy Dieters Book
Sunday - Pulled pork with Coleslaw and Fries

Linking up with Organising Junkie and Mrs Mto get inspiration for next week.

Have a good week.


My 52 Weeks Organising Challenge

As mentioned in my New Year's Resolutions I want to get the house organised. As much as I would like to do it all in one go, with work, the W.I and family I know that isn't going to happen. I have decided to do the organising over the whole year and organise an area at a time.

So below is my 52 weeks of organising list. Obviously this is unique to my home and family but feel free to use the list as inspiration for creating your own challenge list.

Week 1
Take down Christmas decorations
Transfer important dates to planner

Week 2
Sort out paperwork and shred anything more than 3 years old (unless still needed)

Week 3
Make a note of account numbers and contact numbers in planner

Week 4
Decide what home maintenance needs to be done and create a schedule and budget.

Week 5
Sort out digital files on computers and USB sticks

Week 6
Create album files on computer for digital photos

Week 7
Label chargers and Cables

Week 8
Declutter office

Week 9
Organise crafting stuff into one location

Week 10
Tidy & Declutter ½ of kitchen cabinets

Week 11
Tidy & declutter other ½ of kitchen cabinets

Week 12
Organise and declutter garage

Week 13
De-clutter under stairs

Week 14
De-clutter under bed storage

Week 15
Sort through shoes and handbags

Week 16
Declutter toys

Week 17
Go through Craig's wardrobe and organise

Week 18
Organise and clear out metal filing cabinet

Week 19
Season switch on my wardrobe and declutter

Week 20
Sort out kids wardrobes

Week 21
Camping Equipment

Week 22
Defrost freezers

Week 23
Cupboard in front room

Week 24
Storage in back room

Week 25
My stuff in loft

Week 26
Craig’s stuff in loft.

Week 27

Week 28
Outdoor area and storage

Week 29
Junk Drawers

Week 30
Baking supplies and cookery books

Week 31
Organise things needed for holiday

Week 32
Holiday packing

Week 33
Organise holiday stuff

Week 34
Back to school/college prep

Week 35
Desk supplies

Week 36
Computer games and characters

Week 37 (Back to school)
Homework area

Week 38
First aid supplies/ Medicine

Week 39
Herbs and spices

Week 40
Season switch wardrobes and declutter

Week 41
Supplies for Christmas crafts

Week 42
Create desk area for me

Week 43
Bedding and towels

Week 44
Storage of important documents

Week 45
Costume jewellery sort out

Week 46
Christmas supplies inventory and purchase

Week 47
Write Christmas cards

Week 48
Christmas decorations put up and ones not going to be used passed on 

Week 49
Defrost Freezer

Week 50
Wrapping presents

Week 51
Last minute Christmas stuff

Week 52
Prepare for New Year

I plan on giving updates each week as to my progress.

I hope those of you who are also planning to get organised this year are able to achieve your goals.

Best Wishes


Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year and Resolutions for 2016

Well 2015 is now behind us and it was certainly a busy year for me and 2016 shows no signs of being any slower.  Unlike past years where I haven’t set any resolutions this year I am going to so that I do not feel that I am ‘fire-fighting’  and just reacting to events. I want to feel more in control and organised.

So my resolutions are
1)      Get the house organised
I have felt that the last couple of years we have been collecting so much stuff that there is no room for anything and it is becoming harder to find things and a few times I have gone and bought something and then found I already had the same thing in a cupboard or drawer. Each week I am going to organise one area of my house and hopefully get rid of all the excess items we have so that cleaning and tidying will be easier.
2)      Set up a cleaning plan and stick to it.
I am not doing a strict ‘on this day I am going to do this’ because my life cannot be based around such a strict routine with working away and Craig hates being stuck in routines. I will come up with a plan to cover daily, weekly and zone cleaning to try to help me keep on top of things and not ignore areas that I don’t like doing.
3)      Eat healthier and exercise more.
I am now getting at the age where my weight is beginning to creep upwards without seemingly any change in my habits. I am not happy with this so I have to do something about it. I am not going to join a slimming club or take out a gym membership. Instead for the first couple of months I am going to concentrate on changing my eating habits and building up exercise level. I have a couple of apps with HIIT workouts and 30 day challenges to do which I am going to start with as gyms and exercise classes are going to be too busy or full for a couple of months as everybody is enthusiastic about their resolutions.

I am going to use this blog as my motivation to keep up with these resolutions and I would love to hear what your resolutions are and how you are going to keep motivated.