WARNING some of this content may be perceived as negative. Read with caution.
Hey we know that January is a tough time for many people. Here are some good reasons to feel low, stressed or really crappy:
- Burnout from party season. Mental and emotional fatigue after over doing the festive holiday season.
- Low finances. Depleted bank accounts and exploding credit cards create restrictions. Fewer options can lead to vulnerability and hopelessness.
- Short days. With the shortening days and long nights, outdoor activities are limited.
- Darkness. Waking up in darkness and driving to work in darkness. Working indoors while the sun is briefly out. Leaving work in darkness. Basically never seeing sunlight for days.
- Cold. Temperatures are at their lowest.
- Extra gear – clothing. Heavy extra clothing is necessary to lug around. (gloves, scarves, hats, sweaters, boots). So much to pack each time you step out the door.
- Drab landscape – grey. Everywhere you look, the grey white landscape appears dead and bleak.
- Messy slush. Dirty snow on roads, sidewalks and parking lots build up and splash all over us. We drag this wet slush into our homes and offices, requiring extra efforts to mop it up before it dries and turns to dust and pollutes our air.
- Overweight. Our sedentary winter lifestyle leads to weight gain. Clothing no longer fits and we spend more on “temporary” loose fitting fat cloths. Filling our closets to overflow and disarray.
- Flu season. People all around you are calling in sick. It’s just a matter of time. We carry bottles of Purell disinfectants and we build fears of getting sick.
Is there any point in fighting this seasonal reality?
This is Canada. Brace up. Take reasonable action and push through it.
First of all, if you are suffering from SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder) try this:
- 15 minutes in front of a Happy Light. Buy a special light panel with 10,000 lumens and let your eyes absorb this light every morning.
- Take your vitamin D supplements.
- Get outside during daylight hours for as long as possible.
- Simplify, laugh, love.
- Help someone else and quit whining about your own problems.
If your situation is more serious (be honest with yourself), DO NOT fool around.
The internet is full of “Top 10 Tips” to get through the winter blahs. BUT, if you’ve tried all these “Off the shelf remedies” and you’re still suffering, it’s probably time to reach out. Call a doctor or psychologist. Get a professional diagnosis. Research your condition and take your mental health seriously. The winter blahs may expose a more serious problem such as depression, general anxiety disorder, trauma, post concussion disorientation etc.
Once you have a proper diagnosis, you can put a plan together to find solutions or management skills. Counselling, therapy and many other techniques can help with many of your diagnosed conditions.