Winter Blues and Some Self-Care
“Time is only an idea. There is only the Reality. Whatever you think it is, it looks like that. If you call it time, it is time. If you call it existence, it is existence, and so on. After calling it time, you divide it into days and nights, months, years, hours, minutes, etc. Time is immaterial for the Path of Knowledge.” ~ Ramana Maharshi
I am pretty sure we can all happily say peace out January, do not let the calendar hit you in the posterior. Maybe it was just me, though I know a lot of my blogging friends felt the same way, but January was not butterflies and sunshine. It was disgusting dirty snow and arctic temps that should be illegal.
While people were getting excited about changing themselves those first few days, it was all I could, to pull myself out of my warm bed, because leaving a warm bed to go out into the cold is its’ own kind of torture. And to do it because I made a resolution? Oh hell no!
For me January has never been new and exciting. I do not get giddy with the New Year. I do not actively try to change myself, nor do I jump on the resolution bandwagon. And no it is not because I am perfect.
Though I mean I am.
As someone who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, January is its own hell for me. At least in November and December there is the excitement of the holidays to keep it somewhat at bay. But in January it all comes crashing down. This January was particularly bad.
No rhyme or reason, except it sucked. Yes, I had outside forces playing their part to drag the month down into the proverbial snow drift. But usually I am pretty good about handling adversity. In fact a lot of times I flourish with it.
Not this time. If I got out of bed, it was a miracle. It was agony watching the date change at a snails pace, a never ending loop of January hell. Now it seems like it was ages ago.
January is a month where I have come to know my limits. I don’t make resolutions, because they will just make me feel even more like the failure I am. I do make goals. Some times they are as simple as getting out of bed, which in actuality is a huge accomplishment on certain days. Sometimes they are bigger, like I will go for a run, or heck I will actually stop being anti-social and grab coffee with a friend.
Once I accomplish one, I make another. And little by little I pull myself out of my slump. They may not seem like that big of a deal to some, but to me they are. There are days where I fail. Horribly. Where the slumbering warmth of bed has put a noose around my body, and won’t let me go, causing my soul to shrivel and follow the White Walkers into their melancholy land of frozen ice.
It is why baby-steps are so important. Literally putting one foot forward at a time and giving myself compassion instead of beating myself up for being an epic failure. Which I tend to do. A lot.
Baby steps that are not just doing the every day mundane tasks but that are also filled with self-care.
One of the huge lessons I have learned in the last year, is to let myself lean on people. Family, friends, lovers, they are there not just to take, but also give. (and if they do just take find new friends) I admit, letting people in does not come easy to me. I am a nurturer not a leacher, but by letting people in, I have also found and strengthened friendship.
I have also learned that it is okay to be selfish and take time for myself. In fact it isn’t really selfishness, but actually healthy. Our first and best relationship should be with ourselves. If we don’t have a healthy dialogue with in us, we won’t with the outside world and that shows. Taking time to do what makes me happy both physically and mentally, is beneficial to everyone. Trust me, you do not want to be around me when I am miserable. No one wants that energy!
Which is why I happily bid January adieu. While February has started off frozen and still pretty darn dreary, I am at least a little bit hopeful for the reset I have planned. The days are starting to get longer and there is hope around the corner. And when all else fails their is always a trip to some place just a tad bit warmer to get me over the February hump.
What do you do to fight the Winter Blues? How do you get through the cold months?