Usually by this time of year I’m shoulder deep in seasonal depression muck. Uck.
This year though, I’m doing fine. Suspiciously fine, ha. It’s the strangest thing! I’m sure the amazing Autumn weather this year has a lot to do with it and I’m so grateful because this feels good! Is this how normal people feel? I like!
All I have to do is control the weather every Fall from now on and I’ll be good.
Obviously that’s not a realistic plan for the future but that’s OK! I’ve got 18 + years of surviving seasonal depression in me. I’ve learned a thing or two about living through the Big Winter Sad. Maybe some of my tips will help you too! You know, for those days when we can’t control the weather.
Be kind to yourself.
Treat yourself the way you’d treat your best friend. Be relentlessly kind. I treat myself with love, tenderness and grace. Ignore that inner voice that says all those mean things. Don’t compare yourself to others.
I get my face into daylight for at least twenty minutes a day. Ideally for me, this means I go outside for a walk. In reality on really cold days, I spend a lot of time sitting in front of a sunny window. That’s OK. Daylight on your face. That’s what matters.
Basic personal care.
I keep up on my basic hygiene. This is non negotiable for me. I feel like once my basic hygiene starts to slip I’m in trouble so I don’t allow myself an inch on this one. Brush your teeth, comb your hair. Wash your bod. Even if this means you’re giving yourself a bird bath in the sink. Do it.
Take care of the inside too.
I take my vitamins as best as I can remember. I move my body as best as I can. I drink some water. The bare minimum, your bare minimum is better than nothing at all. Just do what you can. Anything is better than nothing. Yes the goal is remembering always but the reality is different day by day. This is where being kind to yourself really pays off. We’re not going to berate ourselves for not being perfect. We’re going to try our best and if our best is the bare minimum then that’s good enough.
The desire to self isolate is STRONG but I make sure I see at least one person (extra from your family) a month. You don’t even have to do this in person, ya know with this pandemic and all. You just need to see/talk to someone, once a month at least!
No, I’m not going to tell you to stay positive. Fuck that shit. I am going to tell you to find something, your own tiny spark of knowledge that acts as a lamp light of hope for a better tomorrow. I like to remember that after the Solstice, the days get longer again. I find comfort in the sunrises and sunsets. No matter what happens, they go on. The birds still sing! Soon the light will will start to change in the sky and you will feel the coming Spring in your bones. Find something that connects you to the wisdom and magic of our natural world. Trust in the cycle of the nature of things.
And finally….talk about it.
Yes, I know this makes a lot of people cringe. We’re taught in our culture to keep these things to ourselves but let me tell you this: depression loves nothing more than to get you alone in a dark room so it can kill you. That’s exactly why I’m so open about my own Big Sad: to help end the stigma of mental illness. To help create a world where others feel comfortable and safe coming forward to share their stories and experiences. Would you hide your fractured leg in embarrassment and shame? Then you don’t need to hide this. And if anyone tells you otherwise or makes you feel like you’re “just looking for attention” or less than in any other way, you send them to me and I’ll straighten them out.
Do you have any tips you’d like to add? Share them in the comments!
Be well my Loves.