Take a deep breath

Every November I realise I’ve been holding my breath for days, sometimes weeks. The world feels heavier, my brain foggier. It’s a product of the days getting shorter. I see less light, I don’t go outside as much, and work begins and ends in darkness.

I’ve got better at noticing the changes in my mood at this time of year. It used to be a different story. As a teenager I never saw the clouds descending. I didn’t know what was happening when I suddenly found myself in darkness.

These days, I try to foster good habits. I exercise, meditate and listen to my body. I’ve learnt a lot about breathing. I notice when scrolling through Twitter is making me anxious and I put my phone down. I take vitamin D supplements.

This year’s worse, of course, with the isolation and the restrictions, exacerbating mental health problems. It’s easy to feel helpless in the chaos.

Just got to keep breathing.