Can We Make it Through January?
I have something extremely personal to share. This is not a joke.
I hate January and it hates me. February isn't much fun either. To be honest, I don't really start to feel completely alive until March 9, when we can Spring Forward again and get a little sunlight back!
How about you? Have you ever thought you might have "Seasonal Affective Disorder?" It is a very real thing and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Do your children seem to shut down in the wintertime? If you are wondering what the symptoms are, Click Here.
I was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder when I was a teenager. I was pretty happy most of the year, but right around the holidays I would start to shut down, stay in my room, my grades would slip, I would sneak junk food. My mom found about a dozen candy wrappers under my bed and knew there might be a problem.
I am not a doctor and I do NOT play one on the radio, but I can tell you that S.A.D. is a form of depression. Depression is a real disease and should be treated as if you or your loved one has bronchitis.
So, how do we deal with being down in the dumps for three months?
It ain't easy. There is no magic button. No secret cure. But there are plenty of things that can help. Again, I can only speak for myself.
#1 REST. Take a nap and recharge, even if it's just a little.
#2 GET UP! Enough rest. Even if you or your loved one feels like it is pulling out of a concrete block, DO IT! For 30 seconds, then a minute, then two. Whatever you can manage. (By the way, there is an amazing book called, "DO IT! Let's get off our but's.")
#3 FAKE IT TIL YOU MAKE IT. Even if you can't possibly go to work, or do laundry or cook dinner or put gas in the car or wash your hair... Fake it. Become Meryl Streep or Sandra Bullock or whomever and "play act" the part of YOU! It'll be your little secret. No one needs to know that you are faking it. Just PLAY THE PART OF YOU until you can do it for real. This isn't easy but it does beat the alternative. And if you need to crack, do ahead and crack! Go into the bathroom and cry. If you turn really red and ugly when you cry like I DO, feel free to lie to your friends and co-workers and family. Tell them you just read a really sad story about a lost dog, or you accidentally got soap in your eyes. And speaking of soap...
4.) COME CLEAN AND TELL THE TRUTH! Find someone you feel comfortable sharing all this with. Even if it's your cat! Though an adult human would be best. Someone who cares and will give you some feedback.
and just a few more IMPORTANT NOTES...
You will get through it.You will get through it.You will get through it.You will get through it.You will get through it.
You are not alone. Millions of us deal with this.
Do something creative. ANYTHING. Write, Paint, Collect lint balls, whatever.
TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR, PLEASE. There are plenty of things that she/he could prescribe to get you thru this.
And finally, BE KIND TO YOURSELF. You are loved. I promise. Maybe you don't feel very lovable right now, but you will. And by KIND, include ASKING FOR HELP in that, okay?
If nothing else, GOOGLE it! There are great websites that address depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder, including the Mayo Clinic.