Daylight fading, come and waste another year…

autumn outfit

autumn outfit

UK fashion blog

autumn

shadows

autumn outfit

Jacket: La Redoute // Sweater: Primark // Trousers: H&M // Boots: Next // Sunglasses: Gucci c/o Shopbop

So, after thoroughly depressing everyone with my last whine-fest of a post, I decided it was time to tackle the issue head-on, and by “the issue”, I mean “the fact that I always spend the colder months of the year huddled up in a ball, rocking back and forth and muttering incoherently about The Darkness.” (Not the band, I hasten to add. That really WOULD be weird. No, I mean the actual darkness. That we’re about to be plunged into this weekend when the clocks change and the world is turned to eternal blackness.) It’s Amber Vs S.A.D, people. It’s ON. And I’ve decided to take a three-pronged approach. First up, there’s these guys:

battle against SAD

Vitamin C to fend off the cold, and any other lurking lurgies (Which is totally going to be the name of my band, by the way. The Lurking Lurgies. We will sing melancholy songs about winter and hopelessness, and being forced to wear tights. It’ll be all kinds of awesome.) out there, and Vitamin D to make up for the fact that we’re not able to get much of it from the sun right now. (Mr D is standing a little apart from the Messrs C, here: it’s because he hates them. I was all, “C’mon guys, huddle up and give me a big smile for the camera!” but D was all, “Nuh-uh, can’t make me.” Apparently he think that because the C twins are brightly coloured and self-confessedly “effervescent”, they don’t take their role as vitamins seriously enough? He may be right.)

Then there’s the running. Last winter, you see, I noticed that I didn’t feel quite as wretched as I normally do, and I attributed this partly due to the fact that I managed to keep up my running regime, even in January and February, which I normally spend trying to find reasons not to get out of bed in the morning. OK, it was a milder winter than usual, so that probably contributed too, but I think pulling myself out of hibernation mode and actually forcing myself out into the fresh air had a lot to do with it. This year so far I’ve been doing a lot less running. I’ve still been exercising, but because we’ve had so much rain, my regular running trails are all like swamps, so I’ve been choosing to do my Insanity workouts indoors instead. Yesterday, though, was a rare sunny day, so I went for a run, and felt SO much better for being in the sunshine for an hour. So much so, in fact, that when I got home I showered quickly and then dragged Terry and Rubin out for a long walk in the sun, too. And this brings me to point three in my plan: making the most of any drops of sunshine we’re lucky enough to get.

This is actually something Terry and I started doing this summer, when it rained so much we thought we were going to have to build an ark, and send the animals in two-by-two. And by “the animals” I mean “the shoes”. On the days when it stopped, though, we decided we may as well try to make the most of the nicer weather when we had it, so we basically dropped everything and went outside for as long as possible. We’re really lucky in that working from home makes that possible: we can take the afternoon off and then work in the evening, when it’s dark anyway, so we’ve decided that’s what we’re going to do this winter, too – basically get outside as much as we can, even if it means working through the night to catch up. Which it won’t, obviously, because by this time next week it’ll be dark by 3.30pm. GOD.

While everyone else is lapping up the amazing autumn weather, though, and talking about how it’s their favourite time of year, there is at least ONE person who agrees with me that it actually kind of sucks:

dirty dawg

He spends a LOT more time in the bath at this time of year, that’s for sure, and while he thoroughly enjoys getting dirty, he’s not quite so keen on getting clean again. Don’t be fooled by the serious expression on his face, though: he’ll hate me for telling you this, but it has nothing to do with the prospect of the shower which awaited him at home – he’s absolutely terrified of walking over that bridge!

P.S. I wrote this post late last night. This morning, the sun basically didn’t bother to rise at all, and I almost didn’t either: round one goes to S.A.D…

36 Comments

  • Hazel says:

    I completely understand. While I may not be running I’ve decided to go for long walks when I get home from work and it’s getting harder and harder to stay outside for fear of slipping on the leaves or falling into some muddy puddles vicar of dibley style.

  • Laura says:

    You are very inspiring, Amber – I too shall make the most of the daylight hours. You, and your glorious hair, look stunning in the sunshine and will brighten up anyone’s day. And that is such a smashing photo of your young chap – having short legs must be such a nightmare in the mud!!
    xxx

    • Amber says:

      That’s such a lovely comment, thank you! And yes, his little legs are a nightmare in the mud – he has lots of coats, but I think what he really needs is some boots!

  • Liz Tea Bee says:

    This totally makes sense. I’ve had a much easier time managing winters since I left my (windowless) office job and am able to go outside during the day. (And zomg 3:30?! That would kill me. I thought 5pm was bad.)

  • Elisa says:

    At first I read that the text on the – fittingly – blue guy said “To maintain healthy boners”. Well, I guess I would walk happily through the S.A.Dness if I had my healthy boner to keep me company…

  • Aw, poor wee mite! One of my cats gets much bouncier at this time of year; we think she’s just trying to heat herself up. The other one attaches himself to the living room radiator and doesn’t move until spring.

  • Suzanne says:

    I’m hoping that we have another mild winter this year so I can still enjoy my hour long walks with my furry baby. Winter is depressing. No doubt about it.

    Your dog looks so funny. Like a black and white cookie.

    Bisous
    Suzanne
    http://www.markovadesign.com

  • Louise says:

    You’re not alone, I’m not a fan of autumn/winter either. I still run though, through rain, sleet, snow, any weather but nothing beats running in the spring when it’s sunny & slightly warmer. Other than going to work I barely leave the house at this time of year. Enjoy your chinks of sunshine when they appear!

  • Vix says:

    I too took vitamins and well woman tablets and all that boo bah until a medical friend told me that you only get 10% of the goodness promised through those supplements, and I was to address my food balance instead. I think she was right because I did, and haven’t looked back despite experiencing similar feelings as those described by your good self.

  • Anaïs says:

    It’s amazing to see what effect even just a little regular exercising can have! I really feel it when there’s less light during winter and going out while the few rays of sunshine are out there is amazing. Good luck with your ‘regime’!

  • Roisin says:

    This is a great post – I really struggled with SAD myself, last year. I think that part of it is that this is the really busy time of year in my job (between now and February) and when I’m working such long hours at a job I hate I get really depressed. So my plan is a bit like yours – to get out and about a bit more by going for walks at lunchtime, to take Vit C and D supplements, and to keep applying for new jobs. And then it will be Spring, one day…

    • Amber says:

      I really feel for you with the job thing – bad enough at any time of year, but the cold, dark days just make everything seem so much worse, don’t they? I have everything crossed for your job search going well, which I’m sure it will: brighter days ahead!

  • Stephen says:

    Love that song…. :-)

  • Henky says:

    Oh It’s so sad to hear autumn and winter make you unhappy. Those are my favourite seasons, mostly because of the joys of chestnuts and mulled wine and not dying of heat for a change (I do, however, live somewhat more south than you). My best day last year was in the middle of winter, a bright sunny winter day, the sun warm enough you can unbutton your coat, walking the dogs by the riverside with hot cups of coffee while the snow crunches under our feet :)
    In the summer we don’t take the dogs out until 10 or 11 pm because of the heat, and I tend to miss daylight in the summer more than I do in the winter :D
    I hope this winter will bring you plenty of lovely shiny sunny days though :)

  • Louise says:

    What is it about small white dogs and bridges? My dog, Alfie, is petrified of them if he can see water underneath. I hope you feel ok through winter. X

  • Call me M says:

    I totally agree with you! I hate it when the time changes, and we lose all the daylight. Yesterday was such a beautiful day, and I was so happy to be out in the sunshine. I can’t believe we’ll turn our clocks again this weekend. Although 3.30PM sounds even more terrible than our 5.30. I can see why you hate it so much!
    Loved these photos by the way! I’m seriously thinking of dyeing my hair red this year. It’s something I wanted since high school.

  • Tracey says:

    I promise not to depress you with tales of sunshine and warmth here in Melbourne. Ha, what warmth? It’s 10 degrees out there right now.

  • Arlene says:

    That photo of Rubin. I DIE!!! Too gorgeous. God, I definitely love animals more than people x

  • Tania says:

    Oh, it’s been so grey and foggy lately. Horrid. I don’t mind clear blue-sky winter days so much!
    It may have just been for the photos, but try to avoid sunglasses, even if the sun is low and making you squint (unless you’re driving)- getting as much light into your brain as possible will help your melatonin levels. And you can increase your serotonin with certain foods too. The best one is chocolate! (But proper cocoa-rich dark chocolate like Green and Blacks. Galaxy doesn’t count..!)
    Good luck!

    • Amber says:

      I can’t avoid sunglasses unfortunately: my eyes are super-sensitive to light and sunglasses really help – the light would really bother me without them and sun glare is one of my migraine triggers, so it’s better for me to avoid it if I can! It’s definitely not just for photos :)

      • Liz Tea Bee says:

        I’m the same way. A doctor once told me that I’ve got as much pigment in my (blue) eyes as I do in my skin which is why they’re so sensitive to sunlight.

        • Amber says:

          Ah yes, I’ve heard that people with lighter eyes can be particularly affected by it! Mine are dark, but my doctor tells me it’s quite common for migraine sufferers to be very sensitive to light – either that or it’s because I’m secretly a vampire. (Which would actually make sense, given how pale I am, too.) I always think it’s unfair that someone who loves the sun as much as I do is so totally unsuited to actually being in it!

          • Tania says:

            Oh, that’s such a shame! I’m sorry to hear what may help one thing makes something else worse… :( Yes, light can trigger migraines. On another thought, then- sometimes a small deficiency in magnesium can make migraines occur. Worth having a read up about supplementing if you haven’t already tried it? (I’ve had my own health problems, and so I’m big into trying to fix them naturally! Feel free to ping me an email if you want me to look out some info for you.) Good luck x

  • Erika says:

    I never realized what an impact cloudy days could have on mood until I moved to where I live now. I started marking the days the sun would shine on the calendar almost to prove that it did, in fact, shine sometimes. It was a rough winter, other circumstances involved, but vitamin D does work wonders! I hope you get lots of sun shiny days! And I am looking forward to your autumn outfits almost as much as I was looking forward to your summer ones! Oh, and Rubin is the cutest mud covered dog ever! :-)

  • Aunt Fiona says:

    Lovely as always.

    Xxx

  • Caroline says:

    My SAD was so much better last year, and I put it all down to working in the conservatory instead of the office and so getting the maximum sunlight hours and minimumin artificial lighting. I must remember to move back out there again after the weekend – I’ve got in the habit of working in the darkest part of the house this summer to avoid screen-glare!

    Love these tealy blues on you, btw! :)

    • Amber says:

      Oh, I know what you mean about the screen glare – we have to have the office blinds shut almost all year round or we can’t see our screens at all: I’ve a sneaky suspicion that doesn’t help much with the SAD!

      This outfit is actually dark green – the colours came out a bit weird for some reason!

  • aida says:

    i live in a place where people actually pray to get some rain (me including, in my own agnostic way)
    usually around mid october i get paranoid that the winter will never come, that the global warming got to us finally and stuff like that
    first rain was today by the way
    just saing…..

  • Elise says:

    Ah I applaud you for running outside in the winter! (and the summer…) I actually don’t mind the dark/dull days, my problem is the cold – my flat has dodgy heating and I seem to spend from November to May constantly shivering, so getting up from my cosy bed cocoon every morning is the worst thing ever! Except maybe getting out the shower to a non preheated towel… ;)

  • CP says:

    Amber I have been a lurker over the last few weeks but I LOVE your blog!!! To be honest I don’t know how I existed before this blog.
    My life will be separated into Before Forever Amber and AFTER FA. I am serious. You are such a wonderful writer, your posts have me laughing SO hard sometimes and I think you are just absolutely gorgeous with your stunning red hair! And you love dresses…… Oh.. so amazing but maybe I need to hide my girl crush just a little bit.
    Anyways I too suffer from SAD. As a doctor I know I am supposed to pretend that it doesn’t exist and appear strong….. But as someone who spent 24 years of my life in tropical sunshine where weather forecasts were basically irrelevant… except for the odd hurricane here and there I can officially say I HATE having four seasons, especially when summer never seems to realise exactly what it should be doing :-(
    So I too dread the clocks going back. I too am trying to avoid the husband divorcing me as I have been moaning about the weather since September (after I went home for 3 weeks in August just so I could remember what sunshine is) and currently we are fighting over the thermostat (he thinks 16 celsius is balmy!…. maybe this interracial marriage thing was not a good idea after all). But please keep blogging, keep smiling and keep on looking beautiful. I neeeeeeeed this blog to get through the coming winter months……oh and my credit card as retail therapy is so much better than paroxetine!

    • Amber says:

      Oh my goodness, you’ve just made my day – possibly my whole month, in fact: thank you for such a lovely comment :) I totally know what you mean about the seasons, too – I know lots of British people who say they’d really miss them if they were to move somewhere tropical, but I’ve always thought they were pretty over-rated: especially here, where there’s not really a whole lot of difference anyway! At this point I would quite happily go the rest of my life without ever seeing another winter!

  • I’m sorry that you have to deal with SAD. I hope that you get the chance to experiment with plenty of “retail therapy” in the months ahead — and, muddy as he gets, your little buddy is just adorable enough to help pull you through it!

  • So glad to hear you are doing all kinds of good self-care – it can make such a difference in the winter feeling survive-able.

    P.S. I love the ’70’s vibe of this outfit – amazing!

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