Menu Plan Monday

by Elizabeth on September 26, 2011 · 6 comments

in Menu Plan Monday

Blech.  That pretty much sums up how I feel right now. I’m sure you’ve noticed that my blogging has taken a nosedive and, if you follow me on Twitter, you have noticed that I’m less…me.  Or something.

I think that I suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I’m not 100% sure nor do I have an official diagnosis, but after doing some thinking about my depression and when it occurs, I notice that it hits its peak in the fall.  Maybe it’s allergies, maybe it’s waking up in the dark, maybe it’s knowing that it’s lovely outside and I can’t experience that because MY OFFICE HAS NO FREAKING WINDOWS, or maybe it’s something else completely, but whatever it is, this time of year is very difficult for me in terms of mood, productivity, and energy levels.  Last week I felt the first stirrings of “blah” and proceeded to sit on the couch and do nothing after work almost all week.

If anyone suffers from SAD or has any experience with it, please let me know if what I’m feeling is SAD or if it’s something else.  Or if I’m just crazy (I actually already know this, but sometimes it’s good to get a confirmation 🙂 ).

Anyway…on to the menu, which is pretty much the same as last week since I didn’t cook much at all.

Sunday: Clean out the fridge night.

Monday: WW chicken fingers and fries (bumped from last week)

Tuesday: Pasta with pesto (possibly the last fresh batch of the season!)

Wednesday: Out to dinner with family

Thursday: Tilapia with caper-parsley sauce, roasted potatoes (bumped from last week)

Friday: Babysitting (ordering pizza)

Saturday: Babysitting again and dinner is TBD (if you think I’m cooking for three kids 6 and under you’re insane)

What’s on your menu for the week?

This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Molly September 26, 2011 at 1:15 pm

Oh, I’m sorry to hear about the SAD. It is not fun. Booooo. While I do not have SAD, I have been diagnosed for quite some time with clinical depression. It’s currently (and HAPPILY) under control with various aids. (And I am more than happy to discuss those via email.)
But. Some things that may help:
– go outside during lunch if you can
– play with the kitty
– don’t fall into the trap of eating your way out of it
– plan a happy thing every day – take a bubble bath, give yourself a foot massage, stare out the window, drink your coffee outside, etc
– turn on all the lights
– talk to people every day, don’t hide at home
– plan some projects – so you feel like you’re productive. Example: I try to finish a knitting project each winter.

Good luck.


2 Elizabeth September 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm

Thanks Molly. I was diagnosed with clinical depression in the fall of 2005 and have struggled with it on and off. I haven’t been on meds since 2006. I don’t feel as bad as I did back then (talk about a black hole of depression), but I do think it’s something.

Your ideas are very helpful and will be giving them a try over the next few weeks. Thank you!


3 Molly September 27, 2011 at 7:43 am

Oh, also – if you do get a diagnosis, you can use that to ask your employer for accomodations – like time outside in the winter, or to be relocated near a window temporarily. I don’t know if you are willing/able to do that, but I thought I’d offer it anyway.
And like Megg said below, you could try medication or therapy short-term. My therapist rocks, if you’re ever up in Chicago-area. Teehee. 🙂


4 Cate September 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

I don’t have an official SAD diagnosis either, but over the past couple years I’ve started to wonder if I might suffer from it, particularly in the dead of winter. I actually LOVE fall and winter as seasons, but the lack of sunlight in the dead of winter really gets to me. Is there anything else about fall that could be making you depressed/unproductive (like negative memories attached to the season?) If not, I would try making a point of going outside more over the next couple weeks. Eat outside or take a walk on your lunch break, sit outside (in the park, or at your house, or whatever) to read in the evenings (at least while that’s still possible), etc. If your mood suddenly improves, that might tell you something.

Please let me know how the WW chicken and fries are! They look so yummy.


5 Elizabeth September 26, 2011 at 1:51 pm

It’s funny that I have such a hard time with fall since I love the season (nice weather, football, preparing for the holidays, etc). I don’t have any negative memories about this time (well one, but it’s not something that affects me everyday) so that’s why it’s a bit odd. SAD is most common in the winter.

I do need to get outside. I’m going to be babysitting my cousins all next weekend and plan on taking them to the park and the oldest has a football game, so hopefully all that vitamin D will help.

Going outside to read sounds really nice too. I’m going to do that when I get home today!


6 Megg September 26, 2011 at 4:52 pm

I have a friend who struggles with depression, and it gets worse in the winter. She ups her meds slightly in the winter to compensate for it. It might be worth looking into. Going on a low dose antidepressant or mood stabilizer for a few months out of the year isn’t always a bad thing.
Of course you can always try non-medication things, but sometimes, even if you know you need to go outside and eat lunch, that doesn’t mean you can make yourself do it. I know you know that though 🙂
Also, interesting fact. Our bodies produce vitamin D when we’re exposed to sunlight (at least 15 minutes). So if there’s no windows in your office, or not enough sunlight in the winter, then you’re not getting enough vitamin D…which is a mood booster. I think this is what SAD really stems from, and obviously people predisposed to depression are especially susceptible.
Anyway, all this to say, you might consider seeing your doctor and asking about it.


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