See Change Ambassador, Abigail McDonnell, reminds us to be kind to ourselves this winter.
“This winter has hit me harder than any previous year.
Previous to this college year I had spent the past year and a half abroad, so when I came back to reality I knew it would take me a lot of mental effort to get through the Winter season.
Summer is when I blossom, when I feel like myself the most, my most comfortable. It’s always such a harsh contrast coming from Summer, to what it feels like going straight into Winter (with Ireland’s weather anyways).
This winter has been so hard, and I know that a lot of it has been done due to my attitude towards it. As I said I knew this winter was going to be harder compared to others, but I think expecting that actually made my mood worse.
In general, this year I’ve felt my energy disappear completely. It’s been so hard to find any sort of motivation in terms of being productive and getting up and out of the house. I really hate this aspect of seasonal depression, because I don’t want people to think I’m lazy. Sometimes it feels physically impossible to get out of bed and get on with the day.
In general, this winter I’ve been far more unstable than usual and sometimes it frightens me a little, feeling like I used to when I was really bad. However, I try to remind myself that nothing is permanent and to take things day by day. These episodes never last forever, I try to tell myself that no matter how low my mood gets!
This semester I’ve missed a lot of college solely because I’ve been so anxious and emotional that I find it hard to leave the house, especially if it’s dark or if the weather is bad. It’s really tough because there is a moment of relief when I tell myself I can miss college, and then the shame follows which only makes me feel worse! Luckily, my college lecturers have been so understanding and supportive which has been of huge relief.
It’s always so hard letting someone know that you’re not doing well because I still get worried of what the response may be. Saying this, it’s always the best thing to do, letting someone know that you’re not doing well is such a great relief and will in turn come back to help you.
I guess what I’d love is for people to keep in mind how hard Winter can be for some people.
I’m not lazy, I’m not crazy, I’m not weird, Winter is just difficult for me.
In the meantime, I’m trying to change my attitude towards Winter. I was chatting with someone recently who triggered something in my mind and made me realise how negative I had been towards the season. I can’t change that I struggle with depression and anxiety, I can’t change that I suffer a little bit more during winter but I can try to change my outlook on the season. I can try to see Winter as an opportunity to rest and repair, a chance to give my mind and body a break. It’s not a bad thing to rest and take time to get back to yourself.
For now, I’m surrounding myself with good people, good vibes and some cheesy Christmas movies and as per usual, taking each day as it comes.
I’ve gotten through so much in my life, I know how strong I am, so I can and I will get through this!
If you’ve been feeling similar this Winter, make sure to reach out to someone you trust, just to let them know you might need some support or some space perhaps, whatever works for you. A problem shared is truly a problem halved, no matter what time of year.
Happy Christmas to all