Hey everyone, for this week’s blog we are going to be talking about seasonal depression. As you know, I am not a medical professional by any means. I just know what has helped me in this season, so I wanted to share it with you.
Seasonal depression is defined as a mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year. It is very common and there are actually about 3 million cases in the US per year. Symptoms include fatigue, hopelessness, depression and social withdrawal.
There are two times of the year that really trigger me, depending where we are. If we are at home during the fall season, I am generally OK. But when we have been on the road, this has hit me really hard. With that being said, this fall was totally fine, thankfully. My struggle bus season was in the beginning of February, seemingly out of nowhere. I woke up one day and I felt different and i was being challenged left and right. Every Area in my life where I had been striving for improvement, I was faced with obstacles and the overwhelm sank in. The doubt set in, the comparison, the sadness, the negative self talk, all of it. I recognized what was going on and wanted to do something about it, but felt too exhausted. I just wanted to lay and wallow, eat chocolate and cry. So, I did for a minute and then I decided that I wanted to try things differently this time. Instead of waiting for these feelings to pass on their own, I was proactive and I am so grateful that I decided to take that path instead. Now, I’d like to share with you exactly what I did and I hope that if you are going to the same thing that maybe these ideas will help you too. If not, please seek the opinion of a medical professional or someone else who specializes in this field.
1. I had to recognize that this was just temporary. It’s just a bad day, not a bad life, it will pass and I will get through this. I’ve done it before and I can do it again.
2. Ask for help. I prayed and I asked God for help. We must surrender in order to receive help from the universe/spirit/higher power/God. I was also very open with my husband about how I was feeling and I talked to two of my dear friends who have experience with these emotions as well. Having the support of those close to me, really helped. To be understood and to be given grace is invaluable. If you don’t have a circle of trusted friends, seeing a therapist, mentor or spiritual teacher would also be helpful.
3. I got moving. I’m not very experienced when it comes to yoga, I honestly kind of do my own thing LOL but it works! When I’m doing a yoga flow, my mind is able to escape to a place of calm. I focus on my breathing and I focus on my body. The deep stretching releases those kinks and our muscles and allows the blood to flow properly, flushing out toxins which is very beneficial. Breath work is another favorite of mine because I’ve seen the benefits first hand. When we are fatigued, we want to grab caffeine, a nap or maybe even a snack BUT what will energize us as well as calm us is big, deep breaths. Most of us don’t breath as well as we should or we hold our breath frequently without realizing it.
4. Meditation. I’ve done a whole blog post about this so you know I’m a fan. I’m not a master meditator...it’s still sometimes hard for me and I don’t do it every day like I want, but that’s okay. Progress over perfection. When I do, I receive the benefits immediately.
[PRAYER IS WHEN YOU TALK TO GOD. MEDITATION IS WHEN GOD TALKS TO YOU.]
5. Focus on gratitude. In my spiritual journey this past year, everything has led me back to gratitude so i try to make that part of my daily practice and it’s always attached to every piece of advice i give. Positive thinking and positive talk can do magical, wonderful things. Even if you don’t believe it at first, you will eventually. If you’re so far down that you can’t find anything to be grateful for, ask spirit to help you see. But I promise you, there’s always something to be grateful for. You’re alive aren’t you? You’re breathing? You can see to read this blog post, right?! All things to be thankful for my friends.
6. I had to refrain from judging myself for not being happy and perfect; to not feel guilty for feeling bad when I know there’s much to rejoice about.
7. I felt my feelings, I allowed myself to wallow for a bit and then I moved on. I did the steps and before I went to bed I said to myself “I’m grateful that tomorrow is going to be a better day.” And you know what? IT WAS. Rather than a week of this seasonal depression, it was two days. Now THAT is something to be grateful for!!
8. In the past, I would just wallow until the feelings passed instead of recognizing that I AM IN CONTROL of my thoughts and emotions. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. So, if you don’t like where you are right now, emotionally speaking, eat some chocolate, have a good cry then do the work to get better! YOU CAN DO THIS and the universe has your back.
I hope you enjoyed this post and I truly pray that it helps you if you’re struggling. These tips can be applied to a multitude of things so they are good to implement into your life even when you are well. Thank you for holding space for me and supporting this place where I can share my heart. I appreciate you.