Minding the Winter Blues

This weekend, I was feeling low. Heartbreaking stories led the news cycle and screamed at me from social media. I was feeling cabin fever after a week working from home sick on the couch. I hadn’t been able to maintain my regular gym schedule because I wasn’t feeling well. I was missing my family who I enjoyed so much over Christmas. It was dark and rainy outside.

Usually I like to watch the Seahawks games—especially the Wild Card game. But the thought of spending 3 plus daylight hours on the couch on Sunday made me even more sad.

I was wondering why I felt so bad, but then I remembered an article I wrote in preparation for Blue Monday. If you’re not aware, Blue Monday is a totally imprecise date calculated to be the most depressing of the year. It’s the third Monday of January—when debt might be piled up, weather is unpleasant, holiday festivities are over, etc. It’s less about that particular day being awful and more of a reminder that this time of year is tough. If you’re feeling it, it’s not just you.

With that in mind, I told myself that I needed to be mindful of my mental health. Sitting in our dark home watching football was not going to make me feel good.

So, Nick and I went out. We didn’t have a plan. We just hopped on a bus and headed downtown. We didn’t need to shop for anything. We were fed, so we didn’t need to eat. So we just started walking and talking. We walked up this street and down that. We stopped into Starbucks for one last holiday drink. We ended up walking to South Lake Union under the gray skies, but just a few raindrops. Then we hopped on a bus and headed back home.

I made an effort to cook proper meals and try to get back into a routine. Today I went back to the office and felt better—not physically but mentally. It helped to be back and have problems to solve.

Tomorrow I start my final semester of grad school. I’m excited for that, too. Though I’ve been told the semester is “when you earn your master of science,” I’m ready to go back. It helps me to have things to do this time of year.

I hope you’re all paying attention to what you need. Know that you’re not alone, too. We’re all in this together. Big hugs from afar.

Published by Candace

I’m a journalist, nutritionist, doting auntie, one-time bobsledder, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.

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