Seasonal Affective Disorder and Some Mental Motivation Maybe?
I am so sorry but I am absolutely going to start this post with some vulgarity. I fuc$ing HATE this time of the year! Now really that statement is about as accurate as Arnold Schwartznegger’s endeavours in visiting Mars in the original and ONLY badass version of Total Recall (sidenote: for reals can the entertainment industry PLEASE start being entertaining and ummm original again please!) aaaand we’re back…so this time of year is really one that I experience with a fierce Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde cognizance. This time of year is host to my ultimate favourite holiday, Halloween, as well as the upcoming best-day-ever also known as my birthday, than Christmas and New Years. So why would I say I hate this time of year and why the Jekyll and Hyde reference you ask? Call it whatever you want, seasonal affective disorder, winter blues, this weather-sucks-a-lot-itis, whatever, the point is that I, like many others, tend to go through a pretty tough time mentally/emotionally during this season. It never fails that around the end of October until usually February, I feel quite blah and today I realized, yup, my lil friend is visiting again this year! I wish this was a tangible being so I could just maybe armbar or knee it right in the face but I digress and well things could always be worse, like I could be the dude in this video from Total Recall
I have always struggled with depression and anxiety/panic attacks. When I was a kid, instead of anyone actually trying to help me, I was put on a new drug almost every month until I learned better and told them to stuff it. This “fuc% you and your drugs are the answer” thing also happened to be around the same time that I took control with my major lifestyle change. Fitness and nutrition has really been a major life saver for me in so many ways. Now part of my mental health issues is, yes, partly due to my “environment and experiences” or the nurture or I suppose in my case, the lack thereof :p, but there is also a major nature or biological factor as well. I don’t know much about my family but I do know that there is and was a slew of mental issues. This is common in many people and why some, such as myself, can not simply just switch things or control the issues, responses etc. with fitness, nutrition, meditation, changing your thinking and the like. I am someone who has been through this roller coaster of ups and downs enough to recognize when a bad spell is coming on and while it sucks hard, I prefer to just stick it out feeling a little less than stellar, than to take prescriptions that will, in the end, put me in a worse off state. That is for me though and I have educated myself enough over the decades but I am not saying that is necessarily for you. I eat as nutritious as I can, am active, meditate a few times per week, do my gratitude lists and daily affirmations, take fish oil and vitamin D but guess what, this time of year still tries to kick my ass. I am tired a lot and my ups are more forced and can take a lot out of me. I tend to fight being somewhat reclusive too because my past experiences have not been the best when people don’t understand something, but I do have some amazing people in my life who are empathetic and help me through this time (thank you xox). I also tend to feel riddled with guilt if I am not “on” all the time being so happy-go-lucky and farting positive fairy dust on my every avocation :p
There has been a lot or research done on depression and mood disorders around this time of the year with things being brought to light on the importance of vitamin D, to this simply being a stressful or lonely time for many, but there is also a definite connection between light and brightness. I was given a special light some years ago that I use this time of the year and it does help me without making me feel like a zombie or just not feel anything at all like the prescriptions used to. Aside from the light therapy, I keep up my healthy eating and exercise and most of all, am a lot more forgiving and gently with myself at this time when maybe I slip up or my training session intensity is not quite what it normally is (sidenote: I remember one time I literally started crying because I knew I could go harder but my body just wouldn’t allow it, and no it wasn’t just me needed rest :p, and another time, which happens a little more frequently, I got angry and threw somewhat of a tantrum like this—–> LMAO) THAT is precisely what I mean about being a little more forgiving with myself 😉 . That is also somewhat what I feel like day in and day out too, hence the reference above to those two characters. It is such a weird but kind of comical thing when you know and recognize what is really going on. I, like everyone else out there, are only human and sure I want to be a superhero ninja, but even they have off times too 🙂
I don’t always have a rhyme or reason for my posts and I know I really don’t need to, but I think I wanted to post this for those who, like me, find their moods and energy slip around this time. I want you to know that you are not alone and to maybe try to recognize if these dips occur in your life around the same time of the year so you can try some appropriate methods specific to this. I want you to know that you can arm yourself ahead of time with the lighting, upping your D and fish oil, pushing to do your exercising even if you have to do it a bit shorter or less intense (just don’t stop it!), be forgiving of yourself, and surround yourself with positive people and not become a recluse or worse, just give in and give up. Some of my favourite things to help me are to watch a ton of hilarity, lift some heavy stuff and hit some things. That is the prescription I have found to help me get through it. Whatever it is that you normally enjoy, you might find that you are not as gung-ho right now, but think of this shitty feeling you are experiencing as something with substance, hell give it a name if you have to to make it “real” and remind yourself every day that you are stronger than “it” and are not going to back down!