Hello dear friends! Happy 2018 to you! I hope things have been good in your neck of the woods.
Our Christmas was serene and beautiful. We spent several days back home in Ravenstone, and my heart was so full that it felt fit to overflow. It was the great shining star on the wonderful tree that my December built up to. But, like every year, the end of the glitter and the excitement and the gut-stuffing meals brought the same deflating feeling I get every year between December 27th and anywhere between the first and last weeks of January.
I don’t know about you, but I really struggle with these post-Christmas blues. Exacerbating depression that’s already in the moderate-severe range, it completely brings me down and makes me dread its arrival every year. I end up feeling so drained, so lifeless, so sad after the magic of my season ends. I feel that part of the reasoning why I get these worsened symptoms is because I didn’t slow down enough in December to really savour and enjoy things.
These are the ways I’ve begun to deal with these seasonal effects on my depression. Please note that they are not suggestions or advice if you’re struggling at this time of year as well, since everyone is different and something that works for one person may not work at all for another. If you’ve got your own ways of dealing with seasonal or holiday-based symptoms, then I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
Put away the Christmas decorations.
For me, the longer I keep the decorations out the longer I feel cruddy, especially since I have trouble letting go of people and things. Therefore, I like to put everything away on January 1st or 2nd and start with a nice clean slate in my home. But also…
…Keep some festive fun around.
Acquiring nice tidbits of fun and sparkle and keeping them throughout our home helps me feel a bit better. Instead of a flat completely devoid of perceived cheer when all the tinsel and baubles have been put away, it transitions into the fun kind of glimmer that can stay out all the time. Because why shouldn’t the whole year be fun and festive?
Work in my new planner.
I jumped eyeballs deep into the planning and bullet journal world late last spring, and I haven’t looked back. My shiny copper 2018 planner was waiting for me today–a brand new book of potential and excitement.
Clean or organize something.
This is my biggest go-to for when my depression symptoms worsen. It can be pretty hard to summon the energy to do it when I’m already feeling bad, but even if I spend five minutes on something I feel my spirits lift.
Make sure to keep up proper hygiene.
For many people with depression, just the thought of brushing one’s teeth or taking a shower can feel monumental and exhausting. But I know I feel better when I’m taking care of myself, so I do my best to keep it up. It helps me to receive some bath products every Christmas, too, so I have something new to look forward to in the shower.
Eat healthier meals and exercise when possible.
Indulging in cheese boards, mince pies, Scottish shortbread, turkey and all the fixings, and other holiday comfort foods makes me feel very bloated, foggy, and lethargic come January 1st. Tomorrow I’m heading to the shops to load my fridge and counter with fresh fruits and veg, legumes, and lean meats. I’ll be cutting down on refined sugars and carbs so I can start feeling better physically. I don’t go back to work until the 8th, so until then I’ll be taking walks (even short ones) to get my body moving.
Dive into my comfort box.
I first heard of having a comfort drawer from Sarah Ban Breathnach, author of Simple Abundance. I’m still building up mine, but it currently consists of adult colouring books, a Listography-type book, my daily dialogue journal, some face masks, fuzzy bed socks, and some magazines. I plan to add special chocolates, a couple wee bottles of wine, and a few other pleasurable bits. It’s all beside the bed so I can sit and relax when I’m in need of a bit of an emotional recharge.