It’s been awhile since I have written. It’s not like I have been too busy, even though there have been a lot of things going on. I have had a lot of pain, but that isn’t it either. It is the time of year that has been getting to me. It happens every year from about the middle of November through to the middle of January – The Christmas Blues is what many people call it.
It is when I start pressuring myself to make a hundred presents and then feel sorry for myself because I am not getting anywhere on them. When I pig out on the wrong foods and wonder why I am not feeling great. I don’t take proper care of my physical and mental needs and wonder why I am not able to function properly.
I know I am not alone in this one. Even people not suffering from a mental illness get stressed this time of year. No matter your faith or culture, what you celebrate or don’t, this can be a depressing and anxious time of year. The weather plays a big part in it too. I don’t live in the coldest part of the world, but the increase in rain, occasional snowfall and general lack of sunshine get me down – seasonal depression.
Well, I have decided that this year is different. I am making a concerted effort to NOT be blue this year. I refuse to give in to my usual behaviours:
- Instead of binging on sweets and carbs, I am trying to eat more fruit, veggies and other healthy things. I still have a few snack foods around, but am also being more careful in picking these out.
- As my time grows shorter I am rethinking the gifts I am making and switching to a different one if the project I am working on is not going well. I am also trying to let some flaws go, which is still a work in progress for me.
- I am getting out. I went to a Christmas Banquet on Saturday and am planning to go to a Ladies’ tea next week. No excuses that I won’t be able to make it through a whole evening or I need a ride. I have people to ask and they know I might have to leave early.
- This will be the second year I am NOT doing Christmas baking. In the past I have done this for gifts. However, it is just too much of a temptation for both Hubby and I and that isn’t a risk I am about to take. Plus, it can take it’s toll physically on me.
- I don’t know what we are doing for Christmas Day yet and that is fine with me. The last two years we were having my in-laws over and both times I had to cancel because of health. I think it was as much all of the above as any new problem.
- I decided that our old beat-up sofa and the ugly entertainment centre needed to be changed before I decorated the house. Instead of waiting until we could afford a whole room full of furniture I picked out three items (a coffee table as well) to start with. They arrived yesterday and while they are not completely set up and the room is still a mess, I already feel better. And it isn’t even about company – it is how I feel in that room. Getting rid of hand-me-down furniture and adding our style to it is great medicine!
- I am doing my best through music, devotions, etc. to bring the true meaning of Christmas to the forefront this year. My dear friend went out of her way to find unscented advent candles for me and since I can’t make it to church on Sundays I am following an Advent book I found online. God is a huge part of my life and celebrating his Son’s birth is what it is about for me.
Do the winter months bring on any of these challenges for you? How do you cope? What changes, if any, do you plan to attempt this year?