every december, i have a rough time. it usually lasts about 4-7 days. i don’t know i’m in it until i’m in the middle, when it builds crashes into me. but once i actually realize it, i can pull myself out.
two years ago, it happened during and right after Christmas. last year, it hit on new year’s eve.
i went to a doctor about it several years ago, and he gave me some good advice to deal with it without medication, which i’ve tried and don’t care for. he suggested meditation, yoga, a good diet, walking in the daylight, baths, journalling, etc. and those things do work for me once i hit that moment when i know that i need them more.
i know part of it is the simple fact that i need sunlight. and in december i go to school in the dark and when i get home, it’s dark. another part is that i am just worn down by december from school. i need to work in more breaks for myself in the fall semester. and i usually gain some weight because of the holidays and stress from school so i’m usually feeling less confident. i also usually spend some time with my family and for some reason, that is an added stress. we don’t see each other on a regular basis, especially when it comes to my extended family. i just never know what they’re going to think of me and the life i am building, and i do care about that. so the combo of everything just creates a perfect storm every year. the mental stuff is usually accompanied by physical symptoms too. my migraines get worse, and i want to sleep a lot more.
so what do i do when it happens? first, i wallow. i beat myself up. i make up stories about things in my life going bad when they usually aren’t. then, i realize that it’s the winter blues. i recognize it, accept it, and move forward, albeit slowly. and that’s when i implement all of the things i know that work for me. sometimes it takes a couple days, sometimes a week or more. it just depends. but it always gets better.
if you experience this, especially if you didn’t know what it was until now, just know that it’s normal to have your down moments. it’s okay to not be okay. but it’s work to make it right. do the work, whatever that means to you. i don’t always practice what i preach, but i do know that it’s because it’s better to live moving forward purposefully than standing still and doing nothing.