This time of year, many experience the winter blahs. Winter blues. A just plain down, sinking feeling. Some of that is due to the shorter days and lack of light.
The best way to deal with winter is to get outdoors and get moving. Exercise helps a lot – especially exercise outdoors. I get out on skis or showshoes everyday with my ‘two boys’ – big black furry beasts that also need the exercise.
Force yourself to get out of bed and get busy. I find repetitive kitchen tasks, like cutting vegetables, soothing. There is enough repetition, at the same time enough creativity in playing with ingredients and techniques and adapting recipes. The sheer act of cutting food, patiently watching food cook, and increasing my routine in crafting daily meals contributes to an increased sense of well-being,
And diet is an excellent tool. So is control of the environment – avoiding over-stimulation, avoiding negativity, etc.
If you can, it’s best to avoid meds. There are just too many side effects; every drug has a beneficial dose and every drug has a lethal dose, and that can vary among individuals. And every drug comes with a myriad of side effects, some of which may be rare and not listed. I just think there are too many risks, and lifestyle changes are best.
And sometimes depression is warranted. I remember running around after a job loss saying to people “But I have a right to be depressed!” Sometimes life events are such that being joyful etc. is just not natural! A person going through a loss or any form of high stress doesn’t need medication – they need support.
Being able to ‘come out’ and not trying so hard to ‘fit in’ has helped enormously. It’s an ability to be myself rather than trying to be something I am not and can’t be. And I have been fortunate that I have a number of friends who accept me, quirks and all. This was not possible when I was working in the ‘real’ world – I had friends outside of work, but at work was another story, they never ‘got’ me and I was never able to ‘fit’ which caused tremendous problems. Due to motor, visual and organization issues I also often could not keep up and would fall behind, which of course didn’t help matters. And the constant work failures – trying and not succeeding, repeatedly – exacerbated the depression… Now, no more failures, no more depression.