Having a Crawl Under the Duvet Sort of Day?
If you are - I relate to you fully and first off, I hope those reading had a pleasant Christmas and are now looking forward to a fresh new year - in all endeavors of good health and mental well-being!
I hope to write just a few more articles related to the topic, and which I hope you'll find relevant or helpful.
I often wonder where to start inside the myriad of this 'tricky subject,' It's tricky in the single sense that mental health is still stigmatized! Although, slowly changing. So, not ever intending to just dive right in! Naturally, I'll bounce back to my own life experiences, as a reference point.
No doubt, January can be tough! It's cold, inhospitable and if you're lonely - it's even worse. Trust me! All the emotions of December, resolved or unresolved are still raw and quite possibly have married with some unfulfilled expectations during the holidays... Great! So, what now. Well, now we face the fact it is the first month of the year. "The gloomy one." I guess I'm aiming to shine a bit of light on it to help alleviate any added pressures that may have built in your thoughts over the festive period and maybe you find yourself still feeling down.
It can be a struggle to try and be happy, doubly so if you're chronically down. I know this sensation too well, so how do we make it better? What I found effective for me firstly, is to get out of that general headspace altogether, not mulling over why I feel down or am not happy, that seldom works! Rather, I accept my thoughts as they are and add a healthy dose of personal care and nourishment to my day. Many call it a "pick me up" but I refer to it a "fill me up", sometimes it's a good movie, a book, or some nourishing food - especially on long winter nights - a little bit of extra self-love goes a long way to help any mental state and to at least survive the cold.
I don't have a remedy or funny anecdote or do I? Perhaps, it's as simple as hopping out in the world, get what needs to get done, done and hop right back under the duvet! If this is your logic today, I feel you.
The real and often overlooked truth - obviously - is not everyone suffers from depression. Many don't even realize it exists and blissfully escape the understanding of how a person can feel so sad, low and down regularly. Right, so they don't understand the debilitating void, weaving and permeating my head that can cripple and paralyze the very essence of my life, For me, it often feels as if there's something missing and I get upset about it. I don't know what your depression looks or feels like to you, just that I sympathize with you and share a similar state of mind, sincerely hoping January won't bring you down any further than need be.
I'll tell you honestly, I came off anti-depressants in November last year and yes, it's been a bit rough with times of harsh ups and downs. I plan to discuss medications in a later article I'm working on. My experience with a variety of SSRI's (Seratonin Rebuke Inhibitors) the ones I specifically found work best with clinical depression. Again, at this point, if you're feeling down, anxious or any type of self-harmful behavior forming in your thoughts - I urge you to see a doctor straight away. There's no shame and trust me, it's more common than you may realize.
After a few years and only now coming off these strong meds, is a bit like an awakening, for they numb you and that's the point. So, suddenly, you may feel rather raw with intensified bouts of sadness at first. But, I'm pleased to say I am in a better place now, more positive and with a brighter outlook and I know it's all any of us can ask for. The simple truth of minding yourself. Investing and taking much needed 'you time' daily cannot be overemphasized. It is in fact, vital and includes activities you find calming and appealing, let's discuss that now.
I'd like to ask what your environment tells you about the inevitability of your thoughts? For example, is it excessive? Overly stressful for you? Accepting or calm? And in your downtime, can you find the time for things you love? Or do you tend to put them off repeatedly? Honestly?
As we are now in a brand new year, my biggest resolution - obviously - is to go about the things I need to do for basic functioning in life but then to invest the rest of my time in enjoyable activities. Living with depression, I've learned the importance of fresh air and exercise - as vital components. As well as balanced diet and all the wonderful things we promise we'll do as soon as January rolls around. For those of us who actively need to keep positive and remain one step ahead, these components are key. Sadly, some people (And I've met them) don't feel important enough for what everyone else 'labels' 'a basic healthy state of mind.' I used to feel this way also. Regretfully.
Besides reading, writing and allowing the thoughts that surface to be, I find walking, being close to nature and the general outdoors beneficial. Some years ago, when I felt the pressure mount in my head and didn't really know what was wrong, I yearned to get out to a forest someplace and just be around nature. To stroll in the wood among the tree's, I see now why it felt so appealing as depression was slowly gripping me into complete darkness. These days, I am especially aware of the benefits of going to open spaces for a while. It really helps.
So, I figure January is as good a month as any to begin to embrace nature again - if you wrap up warm that is and you'll brave leaving the quilts and duvets for a while. It's a good month to pro-actively choose to get out of the negative states of mind, whatever way you go about it. I wish you well, health and happiness this year.
I wish everyone a wonderful and pleasant 2019
© 2019 Michael Claffey