Sundays, Bloody Sundays

Self care
24 Dec 2022

I’ve had a few bad Sundays recently. Dismal weather, time dragging, friends all busy with other things, don’t want to watch any more TV, endless rumination… reminded me of a lot of dismal winter Sundays of my teens. I suspect many of you have been here, too. But last week I asked myself a question: do I really have a problem with Sundays, or am I over-reacting to a few bad ones recently?

I spend much of my working life poring over large tables of data and analysing them, usually in Excel. So I downloaded my Moodscope scores – all 13 years of them – and did some statistical analysis on them. The results were very interesting:

  • There is no evidence that Sundays are worse for me than any other day of the week. Not even if I slice the data into pre-retirement and post-retirement. Wednesdays and Fridays average scores were a little lower than average, but this probably wasn’t statistically significant
  • Looking at quarter-years, there’s little difference between my average scores in any of them. Which seems to rule out the Seasonal Affective Disorder one of my old GPs was convinced I suffered from.
  • My scores for December, however, are several points lower than my average, which makes sense due to my Xmas-phobia, which is partly from my dislike of Xmas itself (e.g. overcrowded pubs and restaurants full of drunken parties, mindless tacky TV and so on), partly due to awful memories of family Xmases years back, but I suspect largely due the loss of my regular club meetings, exercise classes and cultural events (nothing but panto on at the theatre, family films at the cinema, etc) that give my life structure and get me out meeting other people.
  • I have had roughly the same level of mood variations (measured by standard deviation, for the statistically minded amongst you) over the last 13 years, no matter whether I’m happy at work, unhappy or retired, or what the time of year is, or whether I’m looking after aged parents or not. Mood swings just seem to be part of me.

What use is this? Well, it’s taught me to stop fearing Sundays, and obsessing about them. It’s ruled out SAD as a major cause of my mood swings. So let’s focus more on what I can do to make this December better. And maybe talk to my GP about mood swings. Do I need some sort of stabiliser? Or would more CBT be useful?

Hope this is useful.

Oldie but Goldie

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. Posts and comments on the blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice.

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