Today was the first day of the spring semester. The day turned out to be a glorious 79 degrees with a bright, shining sun. After being gone for a month, it felt nice to stretch my legs around campus once again, my skin eagerly soaking up the sun.
January is never a good month for me. My seasonal affective disorder is quite strong in the winter months; there are a lot of days where I feel down for no apparent reason. I just am. I would wake up and just feel the weight of this sadness pressing down upon me. I never feel completely like myself in January. I don’t feel whole. It’s like there’s something I’m missing, but I can never figure out what it is. Some days, it took everything I had to just shower and eat. And it’s harder this year, because the ‘anniversary’ of my aunt’ s death is approaching. It’s hard.
As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned how to better handle these days (not that you can really handle them at all). I accept my bad days. I hate them, and I wish I didn’t have them, but they are what they are.
If you find yourself in the same boat as me and you’re not quite sure how to deal, here are some of the best ways I combat the sadness.
1) I shower. Even if it’s all I do the entire day, there’s something therapeutic about showering.
2) I write or journal. Sometimes, it’s enough to just write everything down. It can be hard to admit to how I’m feeling, but after it’s all written, I feel so much better. Generally.
3) I do something I enjoy. I read or I watch TV. Sometimes, it even helps me to play with makeup and try new looks. I’m not going anywhere or doing anything, but it makes me feel more me.
4) I clean. It’s something I can control, and nothing is more helpful than an organized, clean space.
5) I go for walks. I just move and listen to music and put everything else out of my mind. (While remaining smart about my surroundings.)
6) I work out. Some days, I don’t want to, and I never push myself if it’s a particularly bad day. But, generally speaking, getting some cardio in goes a long way and makes me feel a lot better.
7) I pamper myself. All the products that I keep for a special occasion, I use. As the cliché states, it makes me feel like a million bucks.
They seem simple, but everything there really helps my state of mind when it’s down. The most important thing is to remember that I’m not alone. I have people to talk to. And I know that I can get through my bad days—they don’t define me and they’re certainly not the ‘norm.’ As long as I take it day by day, eventually the sun will come out; I’ll feel it on my skin. And I’ll be okay.
You’ll be okay, too. You are not your bad days. You aren’t alone.