It happens every year. We go through months and months of endless cold, the snowstorms, the falling on ice, and the seasonal depression. Winter, in places where the winter hits hard, can be rough. And then, for one glorious, but misleading week we get this warm and sunny weather that makes it all worth it.
You wake up on that first morning of true warmth and hear the birds chirping a little louder. Out the window you can see your neighbors all passing pleasantries while walking their dogs instead of scowling and staring at the ground. There is a smell of spring in the air!
We don't think twice about it because this is the weather that we have been waiting for through all of our suffering during the winter. Personally I like to take the spring to get back into eating fresher foods like fruits and veggies instead of soups and pastas that I've been gorging on in sweater season. I also take some time to start running again to have time in the sun and meditate. It's SO good for subsiding my depressive tendencies.
Last week I let my hair down and got so ready for that weather to be the norm! I went full Lion King and just thought "It is time..."
But it wasn't. It most certainly wasn't. Because I let myself fall for the same trap that I always fall for this time of year. I filled my heart with hope and it was ripped right away when I woke up this morning.
The temperature dropped 20 degrees, the sun was hidden behind dark clouds and the rain was pouring itself over all of my hopes and dreams of Springtime. As someone that suffers fairly intensely from seasonal depression, this was a rough trigger for me.
I got up and saw the weather and wanted to immediately crawl back in bed. I wanted nothing to do with the world at that point and I just wanted to retreat into my little hovel all alone. Winter is always hard on me, but getting a taste of Spring and having it taken away is even worse.
Fortunately I have a very caring partner that was able to pull me out of some particularly rough moments. However, he's not always around, so I have a whole list of things that I have prepared to pull myself up when I'm in that place.
1) Go For a Run!
We all know that I am a HUGE fan of running and it's always what puts me in a happy place. The chance to get out and enjoy some time exploring nature, time alone to meditate, time to catch up on my favorite podcasts or audio books, or just time to not think about the world while living on endorphins. It's a wonderful way to disassociate from my depression!
2) Treat Yourself To Your Favorite Beverage
This one is a little bit different for everyone, but the idea of just getting this simple little treat that you may not always allow yourself can be a HUGE mood booster! For me it's always something coffee based. I know that I have an incredibly simple coffee order (Iced americano with a splash of soy, for anyone looking to send me one lol), but on occasion I will go a little crazy and get a dirty chai latte. I don't typically have this because there is a LOT of sugar in it and I don't feel great having it often, but this will 100% help put me in a good mood!
3) Call A Friend And Chat
Something as simple as making a phone call to a friend can make all of the difference. Like I said earlier, when I am in full depression mode I want to close off and hide in my room. I am pretty much Golum and it's not a cute look. So instead of doing that I will make a quick phone call to a good friend! Just hearing the voice of someone you really love helps with remembering that you're loved and valued. That little gesture can mean the world.
I know that running most certainly isn't for everyone, but finding other ways to incorporate fitness and meditation is so good for your mental health. One of the absolute best ways to do this is by practicing Yoga! Whether you are taking a class or doing solo practice, this is a perfect place to let your mind go and focus on meditation. Your body will be benefiting from the physical practice, but your mind will benefit from giving yourself entirely to the moment. If you haven't tried, give it a go!
5) Make A List Of All The Good Things Happening!
I know how easy it is to focus on all of the bad things happening in the world and in your own life, so I like to take time to write out everything that is truly wonderful in my life as well. When doing so I will physically make a list, whether on paper or in the notes section of my phone, so that I can go back later and read it again and add to it when I think of more good things! It's just an incredible reminder that I really do have some incredible things going for me, regardless of all the bad that I see in the moment.
Just a couple of things that help me when I am in a really rough place. Hopefully you can use some of these as well this week while we are all suffering through "Second Winter". Spring is coming, but getting there can be rough. You're not alone!