All I Want For Christmas Is... Some Serious Self-Care

All I Want For Christmas Is... Some Serious Self-Care

Seasonal depression... who asked for you?

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I can't be the first one to admit I hate the winter months. I blame this wholeheartedly on the weather. And from, that I blame my mood. And because of that falls my lack of energy, motivation, pretty much everything. Thus introducing seasonal depression (can also be described as seasonal affective disorder).

Seasonal depression by definition is defined as a type of depression related to changes in the season, usually beginning and ending at the same time every year.

Now I'm no health expert, nor am I clinically diagnosed with anything; however, I'm one to say we are pretty in tune with our own bodies and own emotions that we know what we feel when we feel it.

I am in no way trying to invalidate or offend anyone who is actually clinically diagnosed with depression or seasonal depression or anything of that sort! However, this is what I'm feeling and we're just gonna run with that.

I was listening to a podcast this morning (ironically titled "How to Make December Count") and she, being Kalyn Nicholson, described her newfound definition of depression as being seen as "deep rest" that's why it's called "depressed." It's our bodies way of being in a deep sense of rest or need for it. And because of that, I seriously feel seasonal depression hitting me hard this year.

I'm aching for more daylight and higher energy levels. It seems no matter how hard I try, I'm still lacking in those daily needs.

It's been proven (as explained in the podcast) that sunlight does improve our daily lives. Whether it be through Vitamin D, boost the serotonin, or literal recognition of time of day. And I'm aching for it!

I just have to be thankful I don't live in somewhere like northern Alaska where there's literally only three hours of daylight.

Because of all this, it seems that all I want for Christmas is… some serious self-care.

I'm the first to admit and push the sense of self-care and taking care of your body mentally and physically, yet for some reason, I can't listen to my own advice once November and December roll around.

Seriously, I went to bed at 8 p.m. the other night and slept for 11 hours when I should have been studying but do I regret it? Absolutely not. Did it help my mental mood? Maybe, maybe not, that's still to be determined.

I don't know if I have this heavy onset of seasonal depression because I'm in one of my tougher quarters of college, my lack of passion for daily desires (that's a story for another time), or my sense of knowing who I am so much more this year. I know who I am, I know my moods, so I knew this feeling and these darker months were going to be inevitable, yet still, here we are!

I feel like regardless of what negativity I'm giving off to the world, I still need to offer some sort of positives when feeling like this. Because let's be real, I'm allowing myself to wallow and sleep away these darker afternoons when I'm not slammed with homework or responsibilities, but I'm still trying to do things to avoid this.

I mean, I'm always one to say that the cold is only fun if there's snow and when you live in a state where all we seem to get is rain, not snow, you can see where all my fun goes (don't get me wrong, I love the rain but…snow soon please, OK?)

For lack of better term, some ways to seriously give yourself some self-care when seasonal depression is hitting harder than most seasons:

1. Grasp hard onto your passions and desires and do not let go.

I know I said I've lacked desire for my passions lately, and that's true, but try to dig deep into the roots of why you love what you love. Remember why you feel in love with those things in the first place.

2. Reorganize, rearrange, revamp.

Simply put, a lot of times your space has an effect on your moods. Feeling off? Move things around and reorganize anything and everything you can. Pull out those boots and that jacket buried deep in the back of your closet and just embrace it.

3. Give yourself a routine.

Getting out of a slump when you're feeling absolutely off can be one of the hardest things. But finding a new routine or an old routine and trying hard to stick to that can seriously increase your mood or desire for "normal" things again.

4. Literally self-love the sh*t out of yourself.

Buy yourself flowers! Light up a candle! Draw yourself a bubble bath every night! Anything out of the norm (or completely in the norm) to make yourself feel "normal" again will flip you right back on track for feeling that way again.

Alas, you are only in control of what you're feeling and you are only in control of what can be fixed. Fixed being said lightly because that would imply that something is "wrong" with you and that's never the case.

Self-care and self-love can be done at any time of year, but it seems like this year I'm needing it a little stronger than other times, especially when feeling out of sorts. Use this time as much as any to just care for yourself extra, extra, extra.

Oh, but at least we have spring to look forward to if nothing else at all, right?

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs. In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm..

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Christmas Of Remembrance Series: My Last Letter

Christmas time is not about the gifts... It is about something far, far more special.

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Dear Reader,

Thank you for your time.

This is a series that I have dedicated to those I have loved and lost. It was merely a thought, then an idea, and now a realized creation. Christmas time… all winter really is a hard time for me. It holds this duality in my life of being both my favorite and also my least favorite and difficult time of year. It has been that way for years now.

In a way, this series aids my closure and healing further, and it allows me to tell my story in a way that, to me, is less scary (one of the many great facets of this platform). It was never my intention to write this in order to reach people, or encourage people, or serve as an inspiration to anyone. This was for me and only me. No one else. But, if these pieces of writing do impact someone, somewhere, or make them feel encouraged or inspired in some way or another, or just simply make them feel, then I hope you have enjoyed them. If I can make someone feel, then I guess I have done my job.

The life of an artist is often an uncertain one. The life of a human is a trying one. But life is a journey, and all journeys have their trials. Their tests. Their triumphs and rewards. And they all have their losses. What matters most is what you make of all of it. What lessons you learn. What changes you make. What life you create for yourself. What art you create because of it all. It can be very, very hard. But it can all be glorious at the same time.

At the heart of this series, my words, there is this deep and valuable belief of mine: Christmas (or the Winter Holiday that you may celebrate) is so much more about presents and cooking and shopping and all that other bullshit… it is about family.

The family that is related by blood. The family that surrounds your heart. Your Mom. Your brother. Your dearest friends. The bonds that make life valuable. Worth living. These bonds are soulful bonds, ones that are far more special than any mere trivial object. So… be with them. Forgive. Forget. Heal. Mend what is broken. Reassemble what has been shattered. And stop worrying so much. Laugh together. Cry together. Heal on another. Heal together. And may your new days be better, brighter, and full of love.

Happy Holidays.

Ty


A song for you...

"Sense of Home" — Harrison Storm / YouTube

If you liked this series, I invite you to check out my previous article below…

To My Fellow 孤, The Sons Without Fathers On Father’s Day

As well as this article by a fellow creator…

What You Learn Losing A Parent So Young

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