I used to say January was the hardest part of winter to get through because it is so cold, the days are short, and it seems like the sun will never shine again.
However, after some consideration, I think the hardest part is the end of winter, with the roller coaster of temperatures and mixture of rainy and snowy days.
Welcome to bipolar weather Ohio, also known as March.
Right now it is 21º, with a projected high of 28º today -- just a few days ago it was in the 60’s. This weather plays with my emotions a lot more than I like to admit; it makes it easy to slip into a downward spiral of negativity.
Try as it might, the sun doesn’t shine as much as we need it to here up north.
This week I’ve opened the blinds all the way in my office at work to soak up as much sun as possible -- this is saying a lot since my back is to the huge window that runs from ceiling to floor. I’m definitely not a back to the window type of person.
Since my hardest bout of depression hit its first peak this time last year, I learned to supplement with triple doses of vitamin D when the weather is crappy like this. I’ve also upped my turmeric and magnesium intake as well; these simple tweaks have made a world of difference with my mood and overall well-being.
However, it is much more than a homeopathic solution -- beating depression and its many minions of destruction is also a hard-fought mind game.
I have to wake up daily and not only thank the powers that be for my life and all the wondrous people I have in it, but I have to consciously choose to have a good day.
I have to choose happiness.
Sounds easy to do, but it isn’t. You have to break away from the cycle of negative thinking, and that takes a conscious effort. However, as with anything, once you do it a few times, it becomes easier, and after a while, a habit.
I’ve decided that happiness is a habit I need to cultivate and nourish, so it can grow and branch off into other areas of my life. Concentrating on gratitude helps break that negative mindset and set you on the path to happiness.
Again, easier said than done.
It really does help that I have a job I love, an amazing home, and people in my life I adore. I focus on being grateful for those things and it makes it easier to choose happiness throughout my day.
But what about those times when that isn’t enough?
Let’s face it, when you have the blinders of depression nailed on tight, it can make any joy pale in comparison to the cruddy negative situations your mind can create. I am extremely guilty of boarding that express train to over thinking land.
When I went to therapy for my depression and other issues, I learned not only how to recognize what my triggers are, but how to combat them. My best defense has always been music -- I know, so incredibly shocking, right?
Music helps me disconnect from that part of my brain that likes to run rampantly out of control in over thinking land.
The past few weeks I’ve heard from so many of my friends struggling with the terrible demons of depression and anxiety. While we all have to battle them in our own ways and time, I thought I’d pass along this uplifting and positive mixtape playlist, since I cannot physically be there for some of my dear friends.
The songs on this playlist are all upbeat, and I know I cannot help but bounce around in my chair at work or wherever I am when I hear these tunes. So plug-in your headphones or ear buds, close your eyes for a few seconds and get lost in the music. I guarantee you’ll start to feel better and maybe even smile.
Smile = Happy
Happy = Positive Energy
You’ve got this. 🙂
- Don’t Change -- INXS
- Things Can Only Get Better -- Howard Jones
- Everything Counts -- Depeche Mode
- Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) -- Eurythmics
- Break My Stride -- Matthew Wilder
- (What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding -- Elvis Costello & The Attractions
- The Sun Always Shines on TV -- a-ha
- Lust For Life -- Iggy Pop
- I Believe in Miracles -- The Ramones
- Running Up That Hill -- Kate Bush
- Alive and Kicking -- Simple Minds
- You Make Me Feel So Good -- Book of Love
- Send Me an Angel (89) -- Real Life
- Blaze of Glory -- The Alarm
- Kiss the Dirt (Falling Down the Mountain) -- INXS
- Pump It Up -- Elvis Costello & The Attractions
- Walking on Sunshine -- Katrina & The Waves
- Heaven is a Place on Earth -- Belinda Carlisle
- Something Good -- Utah Saints (with Kate Bush)
- Enjoy the Silence -- Depeche Mode