Hey everyone, hope your having a good week. Its officially February, YAY! Only a few more months left of hibernation, if your a northerner like me. I don’t know about you but winter definitely gets me down, leaves me feeling unmotivated and honestly casts a slight cloud of depression. Truthfully anxiety and depression are something that I have personally struggled with since I turned 18.
This is something I share with you because 1. I want to be open and honest about who I am here and 2. because depression and anxiety strikes so many people and is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of! But it can leave you feeling like an outsider and alone. I remember for a long time I hid it from family and friends as much as possible. Or if I told my friends I acted casual about it, like it wasn’t as bad as it truly was. Being public about it still is not easy but I have found so many good friends who have gone through the same things in their own ways.
A little about my back history with these effects so you can get a feel of my experience with it and how I’ve gotten to where I am now. First off, genetics, Depression, Anxiety, bi-polarism and addictive personality runs in my family. Needless to say this is not a death sentence to leading a happy and light life. Its something I live with daily, struggle with daily and have learned to manage on my own without medication. That’s not to say that medication isn’t a good option, for me though I have just found other venues that help and make me feel better. I also did spend about a week in a treatment facility learning and coming up with easy every day ways to cope.
On that note, seasonal depression is so common and hits so many people, especially here up north when it gets so gray and cold for days apon days and you don’t want to leave the house or can’t because you have little ones. Here are some simple and easy things I do to keep sane and not sink into a dark hole.
- Make sure you take time for yourself… I know its so obvious but its true and much needed. Carving out an hour once a week where your husband/ significant other watches the kids and you get to go out shopping or get your nails done, or even light a candle and take a bath!
- Music! Listening to your favorite music does wonders for your mind and soul. Turning and tuning everything out and listening on your own or dancing with the kiddos can quiet so much in your mind. When we first had Matthias I remember I went so long without really enjoying the music that I love and found that I truly missed it and it made such a huge difference for me.
- Exercise!! Ugh…. I know, not too many people actually like exercise and getting to the gym if 3/4 of the battle…. I myself don’t absolutely love it… BUT its CRAZY AMAZING for your mind. Its a natural medication on its own, and you don’t need to go all out and bench some lunatic weights even just jumping on a treadmill or finding a mild/moderate class where you can meet some new friends and love on your body in a kind way will enhance clarity in your mind and strengthen your body. I personally love the bodyflow class offered at powerhouse gyms. Its a combo of thai chi, yoga and pilates. Its just enough to feel worked out, but also lengthens and stretches.
- Essential Oils…. diffusing or putting the oils directly on your skin. Oils such as lavender, stress-away, valor (which people who suffer from PTSD find very helpful), and joy. I am not a oils expert but chances are theres a oils representative somewhere in your community that can set you up.
- Sleep, sleep and more sleep…… something I have learned over the years which can kinda suck at times, but is just another side effect of my anxiety is the need for extra sleep. I get mentally tired and drained pretty quickly. I find that if I don’t get enough rest the effects of anxiety have a much easier time settling in and I have less control to keep my emotions managed. So resting when I need to and being lame ( going to bed around 10pm) in bed early are necessities for me to function clearly.
- Watching my caffeine, too much can plays tricks on me. And if I have too much i feel nauseated when it wears off.
So nothing here is mind blowing or I’m sure new information but the combo of all these will have such a huge impact and help get you through gray times. I would love to hear some of your ideas and strategies!! Leave me a comment!