So often this time of year can offer up so many reasons to be mired down in the blues. The rush and bustle of Christmas is over, leaving some of us with the hangover of unpaid bills and a pile of gifts to return to the store. In some areas, the poor weather can work to dampen our moods, from snowstorms to rain to cold temperatures, making us cranky and grumpy as we slog through the days.
For those of us with mood disorders, the dark days may begin to seem like they’ll never end. But the winter solstice has already passed on December 21, meaning that each day offers a little more sunlight than the last. The Christmas decorations may be stored away, but most of us can carry some good memories of the season forward to sustain us through a difficult time.
Victoria Moran counsels us to make a list of “solutions that work”—things you can do that will lift your spirits and convince you that life really is worth living at a time when the darkness threatens to close in on you. Some of my personal favorites are to listen to inspiring music, cook cookies, take a long bath, pray, and look through home decorating magazines for new ideas around the house.
Make the list when you feel on top of the world and keep it handy in your desk or journal where you can refer to it often and choose an activity that will give you a little pick-me-up during what could be a difficult time. Keeping the materials for your treats in plentiful supply is important, too—having the means to make hot chocolate at home when you’re in the mood for it keeps you from going out in the weather to get milk and cocoa, possibly denting your mood even more.
Know that the dark won’t last forever. Better days are coming–we can anticipate them even as the freezing rain is falling on our heads. What works for you to get through the darkness? Write down your solutions and put them into practice so you can endure with grace and a measure of happiness.