This past winter season, 2017-2018, I had what I refer to as my Second Worst Seasonal Depression. Good times. I won’t go into details on that, but rather I wanted to talk about something I came up with to help me through it.
Making time for self-care
As I found myself a month or two into what I could sense was a bad seasonal depression, I decided to take matters into my own hands. Part of the reason it was so bad was that I was planning to get a jump start on it and try to stay proactive, but it came on a lot earlier than I expected it to. I wasn’t ready for it. But I came up with this idea, I was going to start taking off one day per month from work for strictly self-care. I’d have one day per month specifically set aside for me and only me. For taking care of my mental state.
At first, I wasn’t sure it would do me much good, but the first date arrived and I was wrong. It was really good for me. And as time moved forward, I found myself planning and looking forward to my one day per month to relax and take care of myself.
Winter proved to be a long one, and I kept up the practice through springtime. But around August, I was scheduling my self-care day and realized I’d been going through all of summer continuing to do it. That was never my intention. I had only intended to do it so long as winter lasted and my mood felt it needed it. So I thought about it, and decided I would keep it anyway for the time being. I had grown so accustomed to it and it really was quite a treat for my self-care.
Now, not everyone may be in a position to deliberately take off one day per month. And I understand those pains. But your mental health is important, and no one cares more about it than you, so you’ve got to be proactive. And obviously one day a month isn’t all the self-care we should be doing, but as a bare minimum of taking a significant amount of time for one’s self, it was good for me. Ideally, everyone should be allowed to take vacations when they need to, to refresh and keep their sanity. Your health matters, and sometimes that means prioritizing it higher than you normally would. Take time for you. Winter is coming. Make sure you’re getting some self-care time.
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