Who here is having a blah winter? Show of hands?
Some of my friends and I have been debating if this winter has been harder than previous ones. Many of us are fighting a strong desire to become hermits, permanently wearing pajamas and not leaving the warmth and comfort of our
caves homes. Yes, it’s that time of year. SAD time.
I have a terrible short-term memory when it comes to things like SAD (also, allergies). Every year (I think), I go through about a week where I feel highly unmotivated, have a strong case of the doldrums, am more irritable, and don’t want to get out of bed (though that is kind of a year-round thing, now that I think about it).
So after a week of this, I remember, very vaguely, that maybe I went through this last year. And the year before that, and the year before that, and so on and so forth.
But, mark my words, next year it will probably be a surprise to me again.
Well, friends, what’s there to do when doing anything feels impossibly hard?
If I had been writing this post this morning, I would have probably said “Nothing. Do nothing. It’s hopeless. Everything is horrible. Blearhghghghghghg.” That’s how awesome I felt. It was great (no, no it wasn’t). Actually, I didn’t write a post then because I simply did not feel like it. Not one bit.
And that’s how I’ve felt for well over a week now. Just eking by, doing the very bare minimum, and feeling lousy about it.
It’s like that sometimes, especially in the winter. The angst and the anxiety can ramp right up, until I feel like nothing is good, and nothing is going well. Which is ridiculous, because SO MUCH is good and going well. So much. But it can really feel like the opposite.
This morning, thankfully, instead of just sitting in front of the computer, ostensibly wasting time, I called a friend and picked up a little around the house while chatting with her. I finally put away those puzzles that had been cluttering up the dining room. Some stray papers went into the recycling. That kind of stuff.
In the evening, I went to orchestra rehearsal (now I’m playing with a women’s orchestra – hooray!), which did amazing things for my spirits.
After I arrived home, I had a conversation with my mother (also good for feeling happy). She told me that during the postpartum depression after my birth, her doctor told her that she needed to go out once a week and just do something for herself. Regularly. So the orchestra is my regular thing, I guess. It involves both being out of the house and playing music. Two major wins, right there.
If I were able to talk to my future self at the beginning of next winter, I would tell her not to panic when things start to seem bleak. That it’s just part of the season, that the grey and the cold and the dark is just temporary, and that the sun will come out again. And that she will feel motivated again. I would encourage her to resist that urge to withdraw from the world. Go on out there, call a friend, get a coffee, persevere.