It’s been a long, dreadful winter and I’m starting to feel it. It’s trying to pull me into its darkness. I don’t want to get out of bed. I just want to close out the world, to curl up under a mountain of blankets and to get as many carbs into my mouth as I possibly can. I was starting to think I could take these winter blues on by simply ignoring them but when I heard the newscaster say we should expect a colder spring than usual, I surrendered. I got into my bed and I stayed there for 13 hours.
This blog has been good for me. It’s been a good way to get my experiences out into the world. It’s helped me to think through certain things and, from the feedback I’ve heard from readers, it's also been able to help a few people along the way. This morning, I realized that it also provides me with an excellent look back on the last year. A way for me to remember exactly how I felt and what I was going through when last year’s winter got to be too much. I read about the days when I had to force myself to get out of bed and when I had to remind myself to stand in the goodness of now.
A lot has changed since then. I was home with the kids last year and I’m back at work full-time now. I was also on horrible anti-anxiety medication that was making my depression worse. I quickly weaned myself from that and have promised myself to never put anything so harmful in my body again. This winter, I’m staying medication-free and trying to balance parenting (along with everything that comes with it) and full-time work. I can feel this long winter starting to take its toll again though and that feeling of helplessness that I was experiencing last year is becoming all too familiar once again.
I want to stay stronger than my depression this year. Not let it take over my life. Not let it take the best of me away from my family. This time, I owe it to myself to do two simple things:
- Get serious about my vitamin D intake. I take a supplement now but only when I think about it (which is once or twice a week) and, since it’s a supplement I just picked up at my local drug store, I’m not sure how much good it’s actually doing for me. I’m about to start taking a supplement my naturopath recommended and I’ve promised myself to take it every day.
- Take care of myself first. You know when the flight attendant going over the emergency procedures on an airplane tells you to put your oxygen mask on before you help anyone else with theirs? It’s because without your oxygen mask, you’re dead. No good to anyone else that might need your help. I need to remember this every day whether I’m at work or at home. I have to put my oxygen mask on first.
I think just making these small changes will have a huge impact on my day-to-day emotions. I’m also diving right into the summer planning. I’m not waiting for the warm weather to hit before I plan the June birthday party, the July wine tour or the camping trip in August. I’m going to stay on top of it and not let it get the best of me this time. I have to.