Can we talk about this month, please?
It’s a short month, unlike January (which was about three years long), but it is so cold and dreary. This is the month in which I make bad decisions, book expensive vacations, and generally wonder why the hell I live in a place like Wichita.
I mean, how many months can we go without sunshine? We’re pushing it, people. Pushing. It.
When it’s cold and gray and one day blurs into the next is perhaps when I need self-care the most. And I don’t mean expensive manicures or retail therapy or other remedies marketed to me like they’re going to solve all my problems. (I don’t need a new diet, or a miracle cure for my dry skin, or even a new pair of shoes—thank you, internet.)
What I mean is drinking plenty of water, getting eight hours of sleep, eating veggies, putting clean sheets on my bed, listening to happy music, reading a good book, meditating, putting away laundry, cleaning the kitchen, clearing the dining room table–the simple things. These are the things that suffer when I’m feeling down.
Because I do get down–no matter the season (but it’s worse in the winter). Sometimes I wake up with a feeling of dread for no reason. Sometimes I’m so wound up it feels impossible to unwind and sleep. Some days I go through all the motions, filling my role as a professional, mom, and girlfriend without actually enjoying any of it. These are symptoms of depression and anxiety, both of which I’ve experienced since I was very young.
And I’m okay. Navigating these symptoms has become normal for me. I know what works for me, how to help myself cope and feel better and continue growing through it.
What I’m learning now is to not judge myself for a dirty house or a night with little sleep because the judgement makes it so much worse.
I’m a living thing in need of compassion, from myself foremost.
And you are, too.
So, even if you don’t have the energy to put your laundry away, even if you cannot get enough sleep, even if you’re surviving solely on drive-thru menus—remember that you’re doing your best. You deserve all the self-love and self-compassion you can muster.
Also, it’s almost spring, you’re not alone, and eventually the sun will come back.
Thank you for being you.