I have a couple therapy assignments right now, and one of them is to make a list of ways I can combat the inevitable seasonal depression that settles in right around when we change our clocks back. It is always very jarring, and renders me completely unproductive, even when up until that point I’ve been getting a lot done and feeling good about myself. So I’m going to make a list on here, as it will be more fun and use less paper:
- Tanning. One good thing about my Planet Fitness membership, other than the price, is that it includes tanning whenever the heck I want. So if I start feeling the winter yucks, I can slap on some sunblock and bake in a tanning bed for a little while. It’s really nice, especially when its cold and gray outside like it almost always is in Portland when its not summer.
- Seasonal Foods: I tend to want to eat more in the fall/winter, I’m sure this is some latent biological need, but I’m diabetic now so I can’t just binge on whatever strikes my fancy. Once thing I love in cooler weather is SOUP. Soup is a wonderful thing, its flavorful and warming and delicious. Also, sugar-free cocoa I could easily make, as well as any number of teas I have when I obsessively collected tea last year. I could also make some sugar-free, coconut flour zuchinni bread with sugar-free cream cheese frosting. It will taste like fall, and give me something nice to eat in the mornings with my coffee.
- Get clean and organized. I’m less likely to be stressed/depressed at home if I’m not wallowing in disorganization. I need to get my room especially in order, make sure it is cleaned out, organized, neatened, and efficient so I have an oasis instead of a nasty pit that I mope inside of. I shall do this before the clocks change.
- Exercise! Boo! I’m going to have to make a more streamlined, readily accessible list that I can refer to, I can see this now, but this is fine for now. I have that gym membership, if I’m there to tan I should at least work out afterward. Also, can get out and do more blog entries about Portland staircases.
- Hydration. Water is supposed to be SO important and yet I’ve never noticed to feel especially better when I’m properly hydrated. I’ll try anyway, though.
- Social interaction. I should try to have some sort of social interaction that involves someone who is not Reed on maybe a bi-weekly basis? That sounds like a big commitment. I’ll try and not beat myself up if I’m not great at this one.
- Self-Compassion. I’ll try practicing self-compassion more instead of constantly beating myself up over every perceived wrong-doing, and try to say more positive things about myself instead.
- Taking action. I feel so much better when I’m working on things, like this voodoo doll selling at the craft faire, or working on one of my many projects, or hey, maybe get together that writing group I really really want to do.
- Mindfulness. Mindfulness and meditation, particularly with any consistency, is difficult for me. I know how to do it, I just fail at doing it often or consistently. I should try at least once a day, in any capacity, to be mindful or to meditate. I don’t think that’s too much to ask. Once again emphasizes the need for a list I can reference quickly and easily.
- Doing something for others. This always boosts your mood and outlook on life. What can i reasonably commit to? This seems to vary depending on the needs of the people in my life. I’ll try for once a week and see if I get any better.
So this seems like a decent start. Later I’ll make a list in my little notebook I carry with me so I’ll have something to refer to quickly, and perhaps I’ll add to the list later, but I think this is a solid start, and procrastinating about it was dumb because this literally took me about 10 minutes to come up with. Maybe number 11 should be try procrastinating less…