It's no wonder we're depressed. All of the excitement and activity of the holiday season are gone and it's just winter. Maybe you're still on the New Year's Resolutions, or maybe you've already fallen off of them. Whatever the case, January isn't an exciting time of year, after the new year has come and gone. It is kind of hard to stay motivated when you came into the new year with so many hopes and expectations, and it's already worn down to dull routine.
The advice for getting over this funk is the same as the advice for stress, anxiety, and grief: eat right, exercise, and get enough rest. We all know that. The problem is that it can be a struggle if you don't do it, and it's more of the same old, same old if you do it. What you really need is something new to shake up your routine. I think the solution to this comes from a cognitive behavioral therapy course I'm taking through The Great Courses: you need to take time out to do things you enjoy each day. We tend to get away from that when we're busy during the holidays, and then we get overwhelmed catching up when we go back to work in January and tend to fall back into our habitual ruts.
I've tried this, and it does help. The best news is that it doesn't take a lot of time or effort. All I really did was mine the creativity I usually use to find writing time, but I did other things instead since I'm waiting on my proofreads of Emergence to come back. I read on my lunch hour, cross stitched for an hour or two on weekends. or watched an episode of Breaking Bad after my workouts last week. I got some courses through The Great Courses, and I listen to a lecture on weekday mornings while I get ready for work. I went to Hobby Lobby yesterday and hit the jackpot - you can read more about finally finding what I needed to make a cameo necklace that I've been wanting for years at SherritheStitcher. We've visited family, and gone out to eat at places we haven't been in a while. It doesn't take much to throw a wrench in the machine, and to refresh yourself. Even taking a different route to work or listening to a different radio station can give you a new perspective.
It's worth trying. No, it hasn't changed my world or made the days any warmer or longer, but at least I know that spring will come again. For now, I can find gratitude in the simple things during this season of rest. And when spring does come - as it always does - I'll be grateful, like everybody else. The point is to keep your perspective right, and to hold on to hope for good days, now and to come.
That's all today. Take care, and have a great week.