Winter is coming. I know this not because Sean Bean says it in Game of Thrones. I know this not simply because it’s November, the clocks have gone back and it’s colder. I know winter is coming because of the following signals my body has been giving me recently:
– I’ve begun to feel tired most of the time, even when I’ve had a decent sleep;
– I want to cry much of the time;
– I feel like I’m walking around with a giant sat on my shoulders, making everything feel slow and laboured;
– I don’t want to do anything but panic when I’m doing nothing. I can’t relax and cosy up under a blanket and hibernate my way through the next few months with a good book/film. It just makes me feel more depressed.
– My mind goes off on a CONSTANT, repetitive track of thoughts, beating myself up for a multitude of things. I’m a crap daughter, sister, girlfriend, friend. I’m shite at my job. I’m boring. I’ve got nothing interesting to say for myself. I’m self-absorbed for thinking and feeling this way. I’m a waste of space and I’m wasting away under a dark, damp sky…
– I wake up in the night playing the above record over and over in my head (even though for most of the year, I don’t struggle sleeping at all);
– I get angry about things that I wouldn’t normally care so much about. And what’s possibly worse is that apart from the odd outburst of this unwanted anger – which leaves me feeling even more crap – I tend to ruminate to myself over things;
– I stop caring about my appearance as much. A couple of months ago, I felt compelled to carry on the running I’d started, go on more walks with a walking group I belong to, lose a bit of weight before Christmas. When the winter blues kick in, I just don’t give a fuck.
Ah, winter. The changing seasons from Autumn to Winter sucks the life out of me and makes me feel like someone else, someone I don’t want to be.
So, whatcha gonna do about it?
Because I’m fed up of this familiar, old feeling every winter and because I’m determined to get through this coming winter in as positive a way as possible and beat those blues naturally, I’m making the most of a moment of strength to bite back and make a promise to myself to do the following things:
– Get outside whenever possible in the daytime, even though I just don’t feel like it;
– Use my light box in the morning before I go to work;
– Make an effort to exercise more. I started going to gym classes a few weeks ago in preparation for the blues hitting but felt knocked sideways when they did, so swiftly gave up. Time to get back in the saddle, so to speak!
– Eat healthily, without giving in because I feel so crap;
– Drink less at social events, even if I’m having fun at the time;
– Stop trying to be so hard on myself and stop letting those winter blues baddies make me turn in on myself and remind myself of my own shortcomings. Some might be true but some are not, and who the hell is perfect anyway??
… And when the above efforts feel difficult – which they do and are going to, because the winter blues wouldn’t be so hard to beat if they didn’t feel tough to achieve – I’m just going to SMILE! A blog post I read today inspired and reminded me to do this more and on a blue, blue day, this technique has instantly lifted my spirits a bit more so it’s gotta be worth a shot
If the winter blues are setting in for you then I’m sending you the biggest of hugs right now. They’re shit (the winter blues, not my hugs). What coping mechanisms do you use to get you through the winter months?