The New Years Blues
In the first few weeks of January, I have had clients experiencing what I refer to as seasonal depression. We have just come out of the holidays, and I’m listening to clients tell me their stories with words like stressful, sad and disappointing. And this is supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year”. Thanks to COVID, there were many holiday gatherings that didn’t happen, vacations that didn’t take place and canceled parties. As we turn the calendar to 2022, which should feel like a fresh start, COVID continues to loom over us, keeping us home from work and delaying start dates at schools around the country. What are we supposed to think? How long can we roll with the punches here? How do we carry on?
Getting Back to the Basics
Before you can even start to tackle the negative thoughts running through your head with the New Years blues, look at these three things. Good nutrition, sleep and exercise. The essentials. Like rain and sunshine are to the earth, these elements of healthy eating, the right amount of sleep and daily exercise are to our bodies, which includes our brains. Our brain is the command center of our thinking and being, right? If we are not nourishing our brains by giving it the appropriate amount of shut down/sleep, we are starting off our day in an uphill battle, when our day already feels like an uphill battle to begin with. And, we can think more positively and creatively when our brains are rested. Hey, we all know what healthy eating looks like. It just takes a little preplanning, making a list and getting the groceries, so it’s at your fingertips straight from your kitchen. Let’s talk exercise: We feel stronger after we take a walk and breathe deeply, even 10 minutes works to improve a sour mood. Also, smiling at strangers and saying hello while you are out walking will trigger those mirror neurons in your brain to release some happy into your blood when that neighbor smiles and says hello back.
If you can just look at these three essentials and where there is room for improvement and set some new routines, small goals surrounding these, and then do them for 3 weeks, watch what happens.
I challenge you.
Listen, you know these things already, right? But it’s good to get a reminder every now and then. Try working on these areas, I promise you will feel something different. And then, if you are still struggling with depressive mood, symptoms like not wanting to get out of bed, not being able to feel anything at all, a persistent heaviness like a fog that won’t lift, then call us here at LBCC and we will match you up with a counselor that fits for you and your schedule.
Life is too short to feel like it’s not worth living well. Don’t let the New Years Blues get you down. We can help with living well!
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