I am currently semi-retired from over thirty-five years in the corporate world. As such, the days tend to (blissfully) run into each other. Friday is no longer the anchor tethering me to sanity and the term “long weekend” means little more than an extra day when family and friends may be available to socialize. As such, I often ask my husband what day of the week it is and have to consult a calendar to learn the exact date.
Having said that, the first day of fall – the actual first day of fall (here in southern Ontario); September 22nd – came and went unnoticed until my brother mentioned it.
And then it clicked!
For several days prior, I had been feeling low… melancholy… yes, depressed. It was like my body already knew – shortened days, grayer skies, more frequent rains, colder temps. While in my semi-retired-induced date oblivion, my brain chemistry discerned the subtle changes in the environment that in my case, lead to those low, melancholy, depressed days/weeks/months of the Canadian winter.
Oh boy. I mean – I knew it was coming… of course, I knew. Winter is coming (shameless Game of Thrones reference) has a whole new meaning when it comes to people with depression. Given I’ve worked full-time for the past 35+ years, I’ve more-or-less been calendar-locked. I knew exactly what the date was and what it could/may mean, and so, in ways, would go about doing my depression-readying “homework” to prepare myself. But this was the first time it snuck up on me, and I find myself more than a little behind the eight ball.
There was one positive that came out of this – it gave the blah feelings I was/am having (for no apparent reason) some credibility. You see, part of the self-stigma attached to depression and anxiety is that you feel you’re faking it. You know better, of course, but still. There’s always that devil on your shoulder screaming “FAKER!” at you.
Ok – so, now for the depression-readying “homework”:
- Charge SAD lamp (SAD = Seasonal Affective Disorder)
- Watch more funny TV/movies
- Practice gratitude
- Know thyself!