Seasonal Depression

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I wrote a while ago about stepping into your potential and rising up to become your best self; that you were made for so much more than you think you are. Sometimes that feels like so much pressure! So I want to balance that by sharing my thoughts on giving yourself grace. 

Sometimes your self-care slips.

Sometimes the to-do list really is completely overwhelming.

Sometimes getting out of bed is a win, never mind putting on real pants.

Sometimes just waking up is a win.

Sometimes the lethargy and the woe-is-me is consuming.

Sometimes the voices in our head get pretty out of control!

It happens. 

Winter is a catalyst for me. The cold is brutal. The dark is depressing. Waking up when it’s still dark really sets my day off on the wrong foot. It feels oppressive and defeating. When I brave the outdoors, I just want to run away from the assaulting wind and biting temperatures. This year was particularly bad for me. It was soooooo long! By the end of this winter, I was barely getting out of bed most days. And putting on jeans took a monumental effort. I didn’t want to leave my house or be ambitious, and what work I did do, happened from the warmth of my bed. My morning routine that was my lifeline last year, and that I swore I would never be without, completely fell apart.

I know all the stuff to do to raise your energy and get through those times–read or listen to good content, write, say affirmations, visualize, energy work, listen to music that lifts your mood, meditate, use oils, exercise, eat good food, etc. I know those things absolutely work, but it was the hardest thing in the world to actually do any of them. 

A few weeks ago, I realized that all at once, the lethargy and heaviness lifted and I woke up feeling refreshed and energized and in LOVE with the feeling of sun and birds in the morning. There’s a shift that happens and everything in the world just feels different when spring springs. It was such a dramatic difference and was so clearly a result of the ebb and flow of the world we live in. It was a striking transformation that happened within me.

In those seasons of darkness, of struggle, of difficulty, of lethargy, I think the best thing to do is to just hold onto one thing you can give yourself to remind yourself that you’re still a person worth loving and that life is worth enjoying. Spend a little extra money on yourself. Take long baths. Skip the chores and sit by the fire. Do something that gives you a little bit of hope. 

Give yourself grace. It’s okay if you aren’t 100% all the time. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to slow down. It’s okay to say no. The first trick is to refrain from “should-ing” on yourself. “I SHOULD be better than this. I SHOULD get on the ball. I SHOULDn’t be so weak and irresponsible. I know better so I SHOULD do better.” This kind of negativity just keeps you down and stuck and recovering takes longer and is harder.

The other trick is to stay out of victim mode. None of this “Well, this is just how I am and how life is so I guess I have to accept it. Ho hum. Woe is me.” Don’t feed these thoughts! Instead, when those thoughts come (cuz they will!), immediately remind yourself that this is a passing phase (it always is UNLESS you feed it!). “Even though I’m really struggling right now and everything feels dark and slow and heavy, I know that this isn’t who I am and that life won’t always be like this. Change is the one thing I CAN count on. And when the doors start to open, I will be ready!” If you don’t prepare yourself for the next shift, you could very well miss it and that’s how you get stuck and prolong the period of time you spend in the abyss. 

The other thought on my mind is that we have this mistaken notion that missed opportunities are a death sentence for those ideas, hopes, dreams, or wishes. So often we sink into a season of struggle and we wallow there and lament all the things that are passing us by, and we start beating ourselves up for all the things we aren’t getting to. We tell ourselves that we’ll never catch back up, that we’ll never measure up, that those missed opportunities are critical errors. 

FALSE! 

The only way you’ll NEVER measure up or catch up is if you adopt those errant thoughts of “I missed the boat” as truth so you quit! Opportunities come again and again, and many times, you can create them of your own volition! But the way we miss them entirely is if we believe the story that we missed out and that’s it for us and we give up the hope. Because seriously, how many stories do you know of people who reached their success in their 60’s? What made that possible? They decided it was time to measure up and catch up so they did! Does it detract from their success? Not a bit! They still did it! 

Your journey is your journey. Accept it for what it is and trust that what you create is going to turn out perfect AS LONG AS you do not stop growing and trying and forgiving yourself and starting again. Just keep going. That’s all you have to do. You go backwards and throw boulders in your path that block your way if you get all mad at yourself or belittle yourself or criticize yourself or give up on yourself. Even if you go backwards for a while or put obstacles in your path that you have to overcome, you can still make a comeback and reach the goal. But experiencing a period of slower movement or taking a break is never a bad thing! It might be just what you need to gather up a burst of speed for your next attempt! 

I’ve met very few people in my life who aren’t doing their best in the moment. Many people are unaware or unskilled or uneducated or undisciplined or confused or injured (physically, spiritually, or emotionally), but rarely do people actually try to show up poorly in their life. Everything is either an act of love or a call for love. The more grace you give yourself and others, the faster you will move through cycles of hardship and struggle. It’s your own inner turmoil created by you that keeps you stranded there for undue lengths of time.

- Morgan

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