Seasonal Changes

04 September 2020

I know that for some people the winter-time causes changes in behaviour, this is referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). It is then characterised by a loss of pleasure or interest in one’s normal every-day activities along with irritability as well as feelings of despair, guilt, also a feeling of worthlessness. In addition, there might be a degree of lethargy (lacking in energy) as well as feeling sleepy during the day.

An added problem can be that with all the restrictions around Covid-19, only now are people getting very limited access to their family and friends. This will be having an effect on, for example, the inmates and all the staff where I am at present as well as everywhere else.

Recently we have had a few cooler days,  of little sunshine and periods of grey skies.  I know that for me personally I am at my best when it is neither too hot or too cold. I have been invited to spend a holiday over in India, but when I can go it will have to be as and when it is almost their coolest and probably wettest of times!

It is well known that those who climb high mountains have to be careful because the higher they go, the thinner the air due to the reduced air pressure. But changes in our weather bring high or low pressure to us at ground level, so I have an idea that these changes can also affect our mood, how we feel and how we cope from day to day. Also many people really enjoy bright days and look forward to all the sunshine they can, hence the reason that holidays abroad are so popular. Bright days in the sunshine will be what they all look forward to. Most people, anyway.

But what of the moon? It has an effect on the earth, we know from the way the tides change during the year. I  was talking to a friend of mine and I was reminded that there would be a full moon on the second of September. I know it can affect some, I wondered though what effect that might have on the people in this place, given the problems they have. So I decided to watch the behaviour of the other inmates as best I could here over the few days prior to and afterwards.

Then on the day of the full moon, changes occurred. I had my tablets slightly late but also all of us inmates were kept in our own rooms. This was due to a person testing positive for Covid-19, apparently. All our meals were brought to us and I wondered if this situation would remain for fourteen days, just as I had been isolated when I first got here. Time would, literally, tell. I could only presume that someone, my guess a Carer, had tested positive, unless an inmate had showed any signs.

As a result, any effects that the full moon might or might not have were not now so easy to identify because inmates were not able to meet or at the very least be in the same room as each other. They might not talk very much, but being with others can have a really comforting effect. It seems to me, at least.

Consequently I was unable to determine with any degree of certainty as to whether the full moon had affected anyone here, inmates or Carers etc, in this Care Home. I have made a note on when a full moon will occur again and if possible I will note any effects at that time!

Finally this week I couldn’t end without mentioning the following, as it made me chuckle. Normally my supper is a tasty sandwich and perhaps a cake which are served on a proper plate, along with a nice mug of tea. But one night the food items were served on a pad of paper napkins. I did wonder if perhaps they were trying to save on washing up??? Just a thought…

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