Heading into fall and, eventually, winter beyond it, does mean that I have to fight with myself a lot more to get things done. I’m a Canadian which means winter is terrible. Well, if I’m honest I actually like parts of winter: I like watching it snow and curling up in lots of blankets and sweaters and reading while it storms outside.
Well, you might have already spotted the problem. I like winter when I don’t have to do anything. When I can literally sit inside and read or play video games. I don’t like having to go out in winter, especially in the snow. I don’t like even doing stuff around the house. And this is really problematic because I already suffer from depression.
My depression makes it hard to keep focused and active on projects. It’s the little voice that tells me not to bother. To just stay in bed and sleep all day. That nothing is important, not showering, cleaning, or eating. Add on the additional discouragement of bad weather and needing to bundle up to even walk to the grocery store and it’s a whole lot of nope.
Don’t get me wrong, my depression can be very bad in other seasons too. The winter just seems to be the worst. Knowing this, I’ve actually figured out some of the things in my life that has helped (or hindered) dealing with my depression. This winter coming up is looking pretty bad for me at the moment. I’m going to break some of this down, but keep in mind that this is what I’ve realized about myself and my depression. It’s not going to apply to everyone.
My depression is easier to deal with when I’m working or going to school. Overall, this seems to be because I am then accountable to other people. I’m able to get up and going a lot better when I know someone else is going to be asking me where I was if I didn’t show up. This is more applicable to work because they will call you out if you don’t show up for your shift. My tourism job is ending this month and as of now, I don’t have another job lined up. I also don’t have class to attend. It suddenly becomes a lot easier to lock myself in my apartment and not do anything all day.
I am really trying to avoid this from happening. I am looking for more work: I need to keep earning money too so that drive is there too. But for myself, I have my own projects that I really want to achieve. So, I’ve started making myself accountable to myself. I have planned schedules for my blog, my Youtube series Book and Page (Season 2 coming in November), my Friday Youtube videos, and even for my first self-published novel. All of that is listed in my phone, on my computer, and on my desk. I have as much written out as I can and that is reminding me that I need to get it done.
That doesn’t always let me get out of the apartment though. So, I’ve tried to start reaching out. I’m planning on visiting my best friend at the end of the month. I’ve also made some good friends at work and we’re hoping to continue meeting up even when the job finished. One of them has even invited me to start learning broad sword with her. Literally killing three birds with one stone with that one: socializing, exercising, and being a super nerdy nerd.
The winter will help with one thing: I’ll actually be able to sleep better. I have a major problem sleeping in the heat which doesn’t help my depression (or anxiety) since they make me tired anyway and I need sleep to help with that problem. So, in the winter I don’t overheat and might actually sleep through a night or two.
My appetite bounces around when its cold. The heat makes me lose my appetite so…the more I think about it the more I realize certain parts of my depression are worse in the summer and others in the winter. I might not get out as much, but I sleep better and eat a little more consistently. This is helped by the fact that a lot of my favorite meals are hot ones, more appealing in cold weather than in the summer. I’ve also found a few foods that are quick and easy enough to prepare that there’s less of a turn off in getting up and eating. Currently living with my parents makes that easier too, but they’ll be moving out of country sometime in the spring, so I’ll have to take better responsibility for my food soon.
One problem at a time.
And I always have to keep in mind that all this work isn’t always going to…well, work. There are always going to be bad days. And self-care means that I have to accept that and, on those days, baby myself rather than berate myself. Sometimes reading or playing video games for the day is okay. Not constantly everyday but some days, when you really need it. So, I’ll be sure to keep some books and my Switch nearby as the snow closes in.
I’ll figure things out. It might take some time, but I’ll get there. Maybe even with a job, haha.