‘Tis the Season to Hibernate


ME and sunshine have a definite connection. Many people who have ME say they tend to feel better in the summer and start going downhill during the winter months.

This year, I have been particularly aware of that connection. The spring here was incredibly sunny and warm, just lovely, and I too felt great. As soon as the sun started shining, I felt my energy levels going up.

And as soon as the autumn truly arrived, at the end of October, my energy levels noticeably dipped. I am getting slower and slower, and able to get less and less done.

It raises a dilemma, whether to fight it or just go with the flow? I’m sure any healthy person would say “I’m sure there’s something that can be done, don’t give in, resist, do something!” And yet with ME, fighting it and resisting it doesn’t tend to work. That’s because it so easily leads to pushing yourself too much which just accelerates the downhill slide. You need to find a very careful balance, not resting too much but not overdoing it either. For me at least, finding the ideal balance is one of the hardest things about ME. I have a tendency to push myself too much, have over-ambitious plans, attempt too much and then just get into trouble because I can’t manage everything I had wanted to.

But being in tune with the seasons is something that I do enjoy. Before getting ill, I worked long hours in an office, and seasons were something that you noticed if you managed to go out during the lunch break. Entire seasons would go by and I had hardly noticed them.

Now, of course, I have plenty of time to embrace the seasons. So perhaps this year I will just go with the flow, take my cue from nature and accept that the winter months are for quiet life and hibernating.