When Seasonal Depression Looms, Go Easy on Yourself
As a person who suffers from chronic depression, I know when depression is looming. And when depression looms, I've learned to go easy on myself. If I don't, a day or two of symptoms may turn into a major depressive episode.
In past blogs, I've written about winter depression and seasonal affective disorder where I discussed techniques I use to try and combat depression. I've got to tell you that this winter, I have really had to up my wellness -maintenance game.
Here in Ontario, Canada, full-blown winter don't usually start until January. We get about three months of ICK, then spring starts to peak through. This year, however, winter came early, starting in November with heavy snowfalls, ice storms and -40 degrees. And for those readers in the U.S., that's -40 Fahrenheit too!
These prolonged winter conditions are wreaking havoc on my mental wellness. Most days, I have to really convince myself that getting out of bed and getting myself moving is the best thing for me. This method of self-talk is so very difficult when I'm laying in my warm, cozy, safe bed.
Know when it’s time to go easy on yourself
At the same time, I must balance my depression maintenance techniques with knowing when it's time to go easy on myself. It's very important to get out of bed, but maybe I don't have to change out of my pajamas. Maybe I can work from home today or, if it's not the weekend, maybe I can take a personal day off. Maybe I don't have to do all those chores I have lined up. The dirt's not going anywhere. The laundry can wait. Maybe I can just cuddle up with my dog, with a cozy blanket and fuzzy socks on my feet and watch movies all day. Maybe I can tell my best friend the truth - that I can't meet her for coffee today because I'm taking care of myself. Maybe, while understanding that eating right is important to my wellness, a few pieces of chocolate won't do any harm. Maybe I can take an afternoon nap then wake up and read my book, warming my hands holding a hot cup of tea. Maybe I can listen to some soft music while taking a hot bath before I go to bed for the night.
When depression looms, it's okay to go easy on yourself. While depression-maintenance techniques are very important, knowing when to go easy on yourself is just as important. Take a deep breath, list some softer, quieter things you can do, and just let yourself rest.
Scott, L. (2014, January 12). When Seasonal Depression Looms, Go Easy on Yourself, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 25 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/01/when-depression-looms-go-easy-on-yourself