It’s not just me, right?
I was scared to admit it except to close friends, but a classmate (I’m taking an on-line writing class) today confessed to feeling seasonal depression, which gave me permission to admit to related feelings.
There have been signs everywhere: lack of motivation to finish my Christmas cards, lack of desire to exercise (hmm, this one is so persistent it feels more like a way of life rather than a symptom), lack of excitement at the prospect of a free day (because I knew I would waste it wallowing in blah).
With me it’s seasonal. I get this way every winter after I finish an intense work season. A recent google search about burn-out symptoms shed light on my seemingly inexplicable need to hide in a cocoon: “When burned out, you have a tendency to isolate yourself in an attempt to preserve what energy you have left.”
The weather is a possibility, though I am south enough to not have to deal with snow squalls every three days. But still, I miss the sun.
Sleep deprivation is definitely a culprit. Though I don’t stay up late working or cleaning nor am I being kept up by an infant. I just watch too much t.v. (= husband bonding time; I’m really working on my marriage).
And then, I often wake up before the alarm goes off. And then I start to think too much.
Like how I’ve lost my wedding ring. (I don’t even want to think about it.) In Japan. Three years ago.
Like how I’ve already entered the beginning stages of empty nest.
Like how I canceled plans to go swimming and chose, in its place, to have leftover birthday cake and ice cream.
Small problems loom very large at 4 in the morning.
Small tasks feel very onerous when you have the winter blues.
And so until the little groundhog makes his appearance on Wednesday, I think that I need to keep my (self) expectations low, and shrink that to-do list to a manageable one or two items a day (the whole don’t-set-yourself-up-for-failure approach). Since energy begets energy, I need to do what I least feel like doing to get through this.
Yesterday I mimicked Fred’s soccer drills on my own, and found that not only did I enjoy them, they are good for my thighs!
Today I am trying out a new salmon recipe.
Two weeks ago, I booked us a cruise to the tropics (yes!).
So I’ll stick on a smile and make myself move until the day comes when all of this becomes effortless. Hopefully, that will be soon, and I will learn to love even winter.
Do you get seasonal blues? Do you feel burned out (regardless of the season)? How do you cope?