OBJECT STYLE

S.A.D. - A Guide to Successfully Beating the Blues

RACHAEL ADAMS3 Comments
S.A.D. - A Guide to Successfully Beating the Blues

I’ve been keeping a secret stash of old birthday cards, letters, gig tickets, postcards, crumpled photographs (taken on a Noughties Nixon digital camera), in a dusty Topshop shoebox stored safely in a drawer under my bed. This treasure trove of happy memories is my go to whenever I feel the seasonal pangs of the dreaded black cloud coming on. 

Today on the blog, I’m talking about S.A.D. (seasonal affective disorder) and how it can make my life and so many others lives feel utterly shit. For as long as I remember, I’ve always been affected by the change and the mood of the seasons. Fortunately it now only creeps up on me a couple of times a month but when it does my mood plummets and all want to do is stay under my duvet, in complete silence until I feel ready to surface. 

Right now, I’m in a good place as I write this post. It’s one of those Instagrammable (though rare) Autumn days where everything is golden, literally.  But if I take a few moments to think about how less light, shorter daytime hours, severe temperatures and the colour of the sky can make me feel, it’s essentially a word puzzle that goes like this DARK, DISMAL, DEPRESSED, OUT OF PLACE, GUILT, LOW, NEGATIVE, PITIFUL, WORTHLESS, FAILING, FAILURE, LETHARGIC, ANGRY, IRRITABLE, HORMONAL, LAZY, PATHETIC, UNDESERVING, the list goes on. 

Sometimes I feel like S.A.D. is in control of my life, stopping me doing the things I usually really like doing such as running in the evening or early morning because I don’t feel safe to run outside in the dark. I hate that sometimes the sky can feel so grey and low that it literally feels like I’m carrying its huge weight on my shoulders. I hate that I have constant dark circles October to February and crave 17 billion hours sleep. I’m sometimes so irritable and snappy, that I don’t recognise myself and feel plagued with horrible guilt for saying the things I have and reacting the way I did. Especially, to those who I’m closest to. And then just like that I see a glimpse of Autumn’s jewel toned trees, clear blue skies and pavements littered with conkers and I’m back to me again. 

There was a pinnacle moment in Autumn of 2015 where I had a particularly bad bout of S.A.D. It came just shortly after I’d come back from our honeymoon in America, travelling around the sun-drenched West Coast before returning home just as Autumn was approaching. More than likely my feelings were probably heightened by post wedding blues, the reality of wedding and honeymoon debt that now needed to be paid off and of course the start of the seasonal change, I was in a low, low place. I think I cried nearly every day for a month be it out of frustration, anger or just feeling utterly worthless. I then knew I needed to stop ignoring what was going on in my head and start taking better care of my heath, mentally, physically and emotionally. 

I personally decided not to go and talk to a professional, invest in special lamp or take medication though I completely appreciate that these methods work perfectly well for other S.A.D. suffers, who knows I may decide to go down this route in the future should I feel the need. Instead I called on a few close people who I know had experienced the blues (to put it lightly) and we worked out a few successful ways of beating the black cloud collectively. Whilst I can’t say I haven’t experienced S.A.D days since, there are definitely far and few between. Below, I’ve listed the ones that seem to work for me and I really hope they might be useful for fellow S.A.D suffers. If you have any more suggestions, I’d love to hear about them. Comment below or email me privately at creative@objectstyle.co.uk 

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, I felt a bit nervous writing about all of this for people read, hopefully it will help someone out there. 

Rachael x

My Top 8 Blues Beaters

1. Let in the light - No matter how dreary it is outside, I find opening the curtains, pulling up the blinds and slightly opening windows in every room of the house helps lift my mood. The natural light and cool air makes everything feel fresher and cleaner and clears the space in my head to think positively.

Image: Take just a few weeks ago when the October filled my living room. 

Image: Take just a few weeks ago when the October filled my living room. 

2. Avoid alcohol - The temptation to reach for a glass of wine when your feeling low is so appealing but it never actually makes me feel any better about the situation. Instead it heightens my emotional state and makes me feel super sensitive that I actually feel worse than before I gulped the 250 ml of Chardonnay.

3. Clean up - Whilst desire to stay in last nights pjs coupled with unbrushed teeth, unwashed hair, face and body, hidden under the safety blanket of my duvet is preferable, festering in my own dirt makes me feel a thousand times worse. Try running a bath, use your favourite salts or oil, light some tea light candles and read something if you need to distract your thoughts. 

4. Invest in Winter Hobbies - Naturally we spend more time indoors in Autumn and Winter but that doesn’t mean we can’t do something positive, mindful and creative. I’ve stepped up my kitchen game by purchasing a handful of really good cook books as well as starting a Pinterest recipe board filled with seasonal recipes. Doing this has also encouraged me to invest time into seeking out specialist fresh, produce meaning I’m visiting more farmers markets and whole food stores instead of whizzing around an unnspiring Supermarket getting pissed off because they’ve moved the cereal aisle again ! Another few winter hobbies I’m hoping to try include attending a book club in my local area, taking part in a wreath making workshop at Christmas and subscribing to inspiring pod casts. 

Image: A gorgeous day back in February when me and Alex spent a Sunday hiking some hills in the Lakes. 

Image: A gorgeous day back in February when me and Alex spent a Sunday hiking some hills in the Lakes. 

5. Work up a sweat - I know, I know when it looks like dooms day outside the last thing you want to do is put on your trainers and work up a sweat. But it’s so beneficial if you do ! It’s well known fact that when we excerise it boosts serotonin levels releasing happy, positive chemicals to our brains. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t want to run in baltic conditions, turn your attention to trying another form of working out instead and perhaps an activity you can share with others. On my days off, I like to drive out to the countryside and wander in beautiful landscapes that inspire me and make me feel calm and peaceful. I’ve also committed myself to a Monday night yoga class where 30 minutes of the class is spent in restorative positions. I finally emerge looking and feeling like a rag doll and usually have the best, solid night’s sleep after taking part. 

Image: One morning back in November last year where I made the most of the rare Winter sun and went running through Chorlton Ees.

Image: One morning back in November last year where I made the most of the rare Winter sun and went running through Chorlton Ees.

6. Keep a memory box - As I mentioned in my opening paragraph, my own personal memory box is a warming reminder of the people around me who have shown their love, kindness and support scribed in letters and cards. Looking back through nostalgic memorabilia like this is also a good reminder of the full and diverse life I have chose to live and shared with my favourite people. 

7. Plan ahead - My friends and family are dotted all over the U.K. so it is so important that we schedule in phone chats, coffee dates and weekend breaks in advance. Making future promises to the people I care about and love really helps me to stay positive whilst giving me something to look forward to and of course keep busy. If there is one thing I’ve learnt the most about myself these last few years it is that I’m not very good with too much time on my hands and no purpose to the things I am doing.

Image: Take in around Christmas 2016 where I spent the day with my grand parents and Alex indulgencing comfort food in one of my favourite Victorian pubs in Birmingham. 

Image: Take in around Christmas 2016 where I spent the day with my grand parents and Alex indulgencing comfort food in one of my favourite Victorian pubs in Birmingham. 

8. Take a digital detox - Whilst Instagram is mostly an inspiring platform full of talented, creative people posting pictures of the beautiful things they see and experience, it can make me feel like my own life doesn’t compare. And probably at that dark moment hiding under the duvet, it doesn’t. But always remember, people (including me) only really ever share the best bits of their life and sometimes it is not necessarily ‘real life’ but a beautiful, purposely styled flat-lay or still life image. Turn off your phone, stow it in drawer and invest some time in you rather than looking at other people’s lives. 

 

Falling Back in Love with Colour

RACHAEL ADAMSComment

For the past few years, I’ve been stuck in neutral. Neutral as in neutral palette, wish-washy tones of beige, nude, pastel pink, caramel, cream, white with the occasional cool grey thrown in. Now, it’s not that I was necessarily unhappy with my style or wardrobe, it's just that everything started to feel a bit samey. The clothes I was wearing to work seemed to also be the ones I was wearing out to meals, drinks, strolls in the park and in essence becoming a bit of a nondescript uniform. 

Start small with colour.

I decided to welcome some colour back into my life and started out small with lipstick and nail polish. I’ve always flirted with a red lip, experimenting with MAC’s best selling ‘Ruby Woo’, ‘Lady Danger’ and my wedding day choice of tutty, NARS ‘Red Square’ lip crayon. But then I stepped outside of the ring of fire, working my way around the rainbow exploring fuchsia, damson, ox-blood, raspberry, coral, even a very 90’s inspired lilac (cue Alisha’s Attic) though that was definitely a mistake. Making minor changes to face and hands, made even the most simplest of outfits more interesting.

How to find colour that suits you.

Now, the obvious answer would be to try stuff on but there are other things you can try before slipping into a tangerine blouse. Hold tight, I’m about to make a very geeky confession, albeit a very useful one. So reader, I try searching for women that look a little like me with similar skin tone, hair colour and body shape via Pinterest and see how different colours and prints look on them. It's also particularly useful for trying to find the perfect shade of lippie too (see above). Just for the record, I'm not for one second suggesting I have even the slightest resemblance to Sienna Miller or Cara Delevinge (though a girl can dream hey), we just both happen to love lipstick, be blonde and with warm skin tones. In short, chances are if an olive-skinned, dark-haired, willowy lady looks amazing in a certain shade or style, it probably won’t work for me. Pintrest can also a great time saver to click through to the product directly and view it on different models via a brand’s website too. 

Season-less colour.

I also had this very strange perception that you could only wear certain colours in certain seasons, why because fashion guru Autumnal conker said so ?! So this summer, I decided to listen to my eye, not club tropicana and found myself kitted out in jewel toned mustard and burnt orange and never at one point felt out of season ! Now for Autumn and Winter, I’ve fallen for bubblegum pink, costal blue and vibrant green, all the vibrant shades that are usually associated with seaside days out and fresh Spring produce. Essentially, I’m echoing my one and only wardrobe rule, be season-less; wear what you want when you want because the style or colour suits you and makes you feel happy, confident and positive. Granted, I draw the line at patrolling round in a palm print crop top co-ord in December in Manchester ! 

How to wear head to toe colour. 

This isn’t actually as much of a brave look as you first may think. It’s all about combining different textures, tones and silhouettes to keep dressing head to toe in one colour stylish and striking. Maybe try something less obvious like navy or grey before moving onto bolder colours. One of my favourite navy capsules is an indigo denim peplum pleat top paired with some navy high-waist tapered trousers and navy canvas sneakers (see it here), simple and easy to pull off. I’m celebrating Alex’s birthday this weekend and I’m looking forward to the rare opportunity to dress up. I’m planning on a green all-in-one outfit, featuring some 70’s inspired emerald wool wide leg trousers worn with a busy green geometric blouse and vintage jade suede sandals. Fingers crossed the execution will be how I see it working in my head and I don’t just look like a giant runner bean ! 

Image: Modum Paradisum

Image: Modum Paradisum

Image: Vogue

Image: Vogue

Image: Jen Schachtebeck

Image: Jen Schachtebeck

Image: The Row via Net-a-Porter

Image: The Row via Net-a-Porter

Do wear clashing colours. 

Similarly with flavours with food, normally the really horrific calorific kind, it so shouldn’t work together but it does ! Yep, the same formula can sometimes work for clothing. My favourite shouldn’t but should colour combos are baby pink and burnt orange, coral and vibrant Hollywood red, navy and emerald and olive green and lilac. As I mentioned in the block colour section, if the balance, texture and proportions are right, the colours no longer clash. 

Image: Caroline Farneman by Thomas Lohr

Image: Caroline Farneman by Thomas Lohr

Image: Pop Sugar

Image: Pop Sugar

Image: Fashionista

Image: Fashionista

Image: Steffys Pros and Cons

Image: Steffys Pros and Cons

Image: Source unkown

Image: Source unkown

Thanks for taking the time to read my love affair with colour and I hope some parts were useful for injecting a little vibrancy into your own wardrobe. Show your style by posting comments and pics below !