As I look out my window on this dark, cold, and rainy day, I want to turn my head away, curl up in my warm blankets, and have a lazy day. It’s that time of year where one day it’s all blue skies, sunshine, and high energy, and the next it’s glumville.
This got me thinking about the millions of people who struggle with depression. Specifically, Seasonal Affective Disorder, the type of depression that occurs around the same time of year (ahem…winter months). Given I know a thing or two about mental health, 😉 I wanted to share some of my insights I’ve gathered over the years.
First off, I know it can be incredibly difficult to pull oneself out of a dark, depressed place. Life has a way of throwing some real curveballs, sometimes one after another with no relief in sight. I often refer to it as a roller coaster ride full of ups and downs, twists and turns. Good days and bad. Sometimes reality does suck (for lack of a better word).
Here’s the part where you drag your rear end up off the floor and say “I am not going to let this ruin me…nothing will keep me down.” Take back your power. Get angry if you have to. Show the world who is boss. When things get rough for me, I always say to myself, “If I knew I was going to die tomorrow, do I really want to go knowing I spent my final hours miserable?” Heck no. And yes…I know this is easier said than done. That’s why you have to be your own cheerleader and fight with yourself like mad EVERY day until one day, it just comes naturally.
– Surround yourself with positive people.
– Watch funny movies.
– Listen to relaxing (or upbeat) music, whatever soothes or gets you going
– Pet a friendly cat or dog
– Read funny eCards (my latest not-so-guilty pleasure) 😉
– Read inspirational, uplifting articles and/or books.
– Go for a run, walk, bike ride, dance (or any exercise or endorphin promoter).
– Sing. At the top of your lungs and from the gut. R E L E A S E those vocals!
– Act silly. Laugh out loud.
– Call an old (or new) friend. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
– Get a reasonable amount of sun and fresh air (not today…it’s sad out there).
All of these vices are simple and cost you nothing but time. You have the power to change your life, and it starts with the lens in which you view it. Take inventory of your life. When you focus on what you have and what is in front of you, you will be better able to see how truly blessed you are. You may not realize this, but what you have is something others may only dream of having. This stretches well beyond material possessions.
You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can control how you react to it. There are always going to be roadblocks and disappointments in life. What you don’t like and can realistically change, change. What you can’t change, trust there is a reason for it. Keep your faith that one day it will all make sense. When you focus on what you don’t have and long for what is missing, you will find yourself in forever search of happiness.
My inner voice is telling me now to not only embrace this miserable weather, but I have an incredible urge to go run the dreariness right out of my surroundings. Running is always an instant mood lifter for me, and it doesn’t matter what is going on around me.
So, next time you see that runner out in the rain or snow, grinning from ear to ear, don’t judge and assume she’s a loon. She’s just making the best of her situation, and that may be her secret to happiness. If that is one’s definition of a loon, then at least she’s a happy loon. 😀