|Our Christmas tree in the den in 2012. We haven't put up the tree this year yet.|
I’ve had some scary moments lately. Not scary in that I feel like I’m physically in danger. But scary in the sense that my mood has dipped and I’ve felt some of the depression that I haven’t felt for a good while.
I can tell you when these episodes were. Both happened on Sunday.
In the morning, I realized that I was feeling upset and down. I had been crunching some numbers and thinking about Christmas gifts to buy, and I was disappointed that I couldn’t afford to buy the ones I love everything I’d like to buy them.
It wasn’t just a bad moment. I felt the now-familiar dullness of depression creeping around the edges. Even though I quickly recognized that I wasn’t’ focusing on the important things about Christmas, the feeling lingered.
On Sunday evening, Larry was working on his computer in the den, and I was working on mine in the next room. The TV was turned to a PBS Christmas music special. The music was lovely. The show had all the makings for putting any listener in the holiday spirit. So why did my mood sink so low? Why did I feel so dark?
It’s especially difficult to feel low when the community around me is getting ready for the “most wonderful time of the year.”
I know intellectually that that’s not necessarily true for everyone. This time of holidays is a wonderful time, a special time. However, it’s not and doesn’t have to be the best time of the year for everyone.
A little hard to remember when the lights are going up and the music is playing.
I’ve feeling better now, but I’m still rattled. I remember how depressed I got after Christmas last year, how dark the world seemed—and not just because it was the dead of winter.
I believe that some of my low mood comes from pressure I put on myself. Some of it is societal pressure that I allow myself to be influenced by.
But I do think about the part of me that makes me prone to depression and wonder if it’s stirring.
I don’t want to sink again. I’m taking my medication, and I believe it’s still doing its job. I am much more mindful of my thoughts and how they can lead me down the dark roads.
I decided that I need to take some special precautions this month. I need to do some things to protect my mental and my physical health.
Here are some things I came up with to try:
*Take time for a cup of tea while I sit by the fire.
*Get up early enough to have time to write in my journal and play with Chase Bird before I go to work.
*Write down when I want to get certain things done so they’re not weighing on my mind (things like sending Christmas cards).
*Save time for crafting in my little studio.
*Do things for others.
*Spend time outside.
*Listen to my favorite Christmas carols and sing along.
*Play Christmas songs on my keyboard.
What self-care measures do you take during busy times of the year?