Winter Blues?

It's that time of year again. Time to touch base with inner turmoil that is Winter Blues.

I have to be honest from the start that I haven't suffered strongly thus far. Usually by now I'm extremely cranky. Everything in my life is a challenge. Getting up in the morning is the toughest thing in the world. I tend to recluse myself from the world in general. My negativity is usually off the scale.

If you are feeling like this right now however, you are not alone. You are NEVER alone. Even though I may not feel down on myself and life right now, doesn't mean that I won't in a week or in a few months. It's always there, like all mental illness, you may not see it but it's there. Always. That may sound negative but it is just the way is goes.

As ever the best remedies to Winter Blues are taken with small steps.

GET OUTSIDE. It may be peeing with rain or blowing a gale {it is Winter afterall} but you must try and be active. This doesn't mean going for a long run, it could be a walk to the shop or to see a friend. Daylight hours are sucky at this time of year but it doesn't mean you can't see it. I have found myself this year getting up a bit earlier before work and sitting by the window. And I have felt much better for it. It's like you are a solar panel. You need to allow in some Vit D!! I also walk to work, It takes me 10 minutes at most, but those 10 minutes are mine. It helps to put music on. Blocks out the noise of outside, centres you. Some of your best thoughts come from those times striding out.

TREAT YOURSELF. This doesn't necessarily require money. You can run a bath, watch your favourite TV show or film. Make your favourite meal. If you can, go out for food. Buy yourself some new comfy pj's {Always works for me}. Put aside time for yourself. Don't feel obliged to engage with people. Learn to say no and not feel guilty that you just want to be by yourself. It can be exhausting trying to keep your mask on 24/7. Speaking as an avid introvert, I HATE when people try and make you feel bad about yourself for not wanting to go out and do activities. I shouldn't have to but I find myself having to explain. If you work in a very social environment but are also introvert, enough is enough. Embrace your free time. Don't let anyone dictate it. TREAT YOURSELF

INTERACT. This may sound contradictory to what I was just saying but there needs to be some balance. Socialising is probably the last thing on your mind more often than not. It is the best medicine though. Other humans may make you cringe back. But interaction will naturally boost you and distract your mind from your dark thoughts. If your friends know you at all they will know how to press your happy buttons. You may resist at first but that stubborn bone will crumble once you relax and forget how you are feeling.

On another note of 'Socialising'. Social media is a great tool for the modern day. Even though you find yourself reading about how other peoples lives are sooo great. 9 times out of 10 it's a mask. However you can filter and control that aspect and keep in touch with people you actually care about, sometimes at a distance you feel comfortable with. As my mum said the other day to me, "At least I know you are ok, even if I don't see you often". And I don't think this is a bad thing. We are adults. We have lives of our own. And we don't necessarily have synchronised free time. I think it is just the way it works for us. Which is the most important thing about it. It works.

TALK. The hardest but most effective way to relieve your head of your awful thoughts and fears is to talk to someone. Don't ever feel like you're a burden, you are simply allowing someone access to your feelings, and letting them know that you need to release them. Carrying around your worries is not healthy and is the biggest issue with mental health. It doesn't need to be someone you know. There is Breathing Space , a place to call and off load. MIND  probably the biggest charity supporting mental health. It is super super hard to open up. It took me years of self motivation and strength to open up to my own family. And they are not always welcoming. This is why organisations are so vital to help those who need to reach out, but can't trust or communicate with their own family because of lack of understanding or their own fears TALK.

As I have said, I am in a good place this winter. I thank my mind everyday for staying calm and letting me see clearer. The freedom of waking up everyday and not feeling that pull of despair is unbelievable. But I am never naive enough to think it won't ever happen again. The best thing anyone can do is be good to one another. Even those evil ones out to piss you off. Step inside your personal bubble and smile. They hate that. And so does Depression.

I hope that whoever you are and no matter how you are feeling you take something away from reading this. I might be shouting into the void, I have no idea who will want to read this but I have made it my mission to write one of these every year as a reminder to myself and you that WE ARE NOT ALONE.


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