It’s been an emotional couple of weeks for me. That period after the holidays always seems to be tough. Work seems to pile on due to new goals and the days are long but daylight is short. To top it all off, several friends and family members have lost family members this month. I don’t do so well with loss or grief and feel others pain all too closely. Thus my anxiety has been high, my temper short, and my determination to accomplish even the little things only bolstered by the Lord’s strength. So I am going back to the basics in dealing with these types of emotions.
Step 1: Get some sunlight every day
Even though I work in a windowless office and have been working no less that 10 hour days, I make myself get outside and see the sun, even if it’s just 5 minutes. Our winter hasn’t been bitter cold yet (knock on wood) but if yours is, consider a light box or sun simulator.
Step 2: Get exercise
Most of my running had been on the treadmill or indoor track, but I have bundled up and run outside a few times just to enjoy the sun (See step 1).. Exercise is a natural antidepressant and the most underutilized.
Step 3: Don’t hibernate
After the hustle and bustle of the holidays and long work hours,all I want to do is sit on the couch and chill over the weekends. However, then I find myself eating more, moving less, and letting my introverted self take over. Boredom, at least for me, begets depression. So I have forced myself out of the house, set up play dates so I’m obligated to get dressed and be functional, etc.
If you have tried these and are still feeling depressed or anxious, please see professional help. My time in formal therapy has always been productive and healing. There is no shame in admitting the need for help and feeling better. Those who suffer with any mental illness know you can’t “snap out of it” any more than someone with diabetes or high blood pressure could. There are things we can do to treat and control but they never fully go away and always threaten in the background. Even more reason to fight for yourself on a daily basis.
Find your balance and live a YingYang Life