Busting the Blahs: Battling Seasonal Depression

I woke up in the we hours of the morning, inexplicably sad.

I turned well worn pages of my Bible to passages that often lift my spirit, but my heart was like lead. My mind comprehended the words, but the sense of illuminating Spirit making my heart tender to great and precious promises was absent. I tried to get back to sleep, and was begrudgingly roused by my husband a few hours later.

The responsibilities of the day seemed like too much. What was the point of any of it? I was probably sucking at my life anyway. People probably despised me for even trying. I didn’t commit to getting out of my pajamas right away, wanting to keep “hiding under the covers” as a possibility. My throat kinda’ hurt. Could I take a sick day? Be gentle with myself. A part of me knew that sliding back into the comfort of sleep would only make things worse.

I made Shane his breakfast and got the kids started with their day. I ate a few oreos from Mimi’s stash on top of the fridge before stopping myself, realizing that, yes, the sugar rush would send a burst of serotonin to my brain, but it wouldn’t help in the long run. Turning to food for comfort only leads to a spiral of overeating and shame.

I made lunch my first finish line. By putting one foot in front of the other, managed to get the “stuff I’m supposed to do before lunch” done. I was ready to return to my bed after lunch. Instead, I sent the kids upstairs to clean their rooms. I made some hot tea. I put on some quiet worship music, and I got moving.

I wasn’t up to exercise, but slow steady movement soon registered a couple of miles on my fitbit.  Endorphins began to kick in. The words of the worship music slowly made their way to my lead heart. I’m still sleepy, and drinking tea for a sore throat, but I’m not sad.

It hasn’t been as bad this year, but I’ve come to know that the end of winter is hard. I’ve learned to keep up my vitamins, and to get outside when the sun is shining. The fitbit has helped me in knowing how much sleep I’m getting and how active I am. It’s a huge temptation in winter  to sleep when I should be active, to shut down, to hide and hibernate.

In the past, I’ve felt powerless to fight it. I’m learning to resist in small ways.

Truly we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We are beautiful, complex organisms. An interplay of spirit and flesh. There are few “quick fixes”, but we can be well.

Now for that nap (maybe)…

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