As I sit down to write this, February is still two days away and the apprehension I feel at this time of year is pinging at the back of my brain. February is always the darkest month of the year for me. While I must constantly work to fight depression, whether through medicine, exercise, or mental habits, the fight gets real in February.
According to Mayo Clinic, “Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that’s related to changes in seasons — SAD begins and ends at about the same times every year.” If you battle SAD, your season might be different from mine, but our battle plans can be similar. That’s why I’m going to share what I’ve used in the past, as well as my plan for #fightingfebruary2017.
Ways I’ve fought seasonal depression in the past
Light therapy is strongly suggested for addressing SAD, but I’ve never found any personal success with this method. In fact, the one year I consistently used a SAD lamp I ended up with crazy insomnia, despite using the lamp first thing every morning. Add to that the fact that I met My Guy around this time, and it proved to be a distracted February that ended well. 😉
February of 2015 found me seven months pregnant and desperate for relief. That year I determined to do one Zentangle every single day to great success. The act of creating art causes us to slip into right-brain mode. One benefit of this is that we lose track of time. And for someone who’s eager for a certain season to pass, this is huge.
As I created my art each day, I used washi tape to hang my creations around the kitchen. They ranged from random and bizarre to beautiful and inspiring. I purposed not to judge, but to celebrate that I was creating beauty out of the darkness.
In 2016 I focused on blogging my journey. Each day I actively looked for goodness and shared it via this platform or Instagram. It was a little much, but during that month I grew in ways I’d never imagined. During #fightingfebruary2016 I discovered both the bullet journal and the Miracle Morning. You can read about that life-changing month here.
My plan for #Fightingfebruary2017
As 2016 wrapped up I began mulling over my February plan for 2017. One morning while enjoying a quiet cup of coffee with friends, I determined that Instagram would be my platform for this year’s fight.
If you’d asked me three years ago about my art skills, I’d have snorted my coffee all over you. What art skills? And yet, this is me today:
Not perfect, but unique and meaningful and real. And by me.
Now, I’m definitely no gifted photographer. One quick journey through my Instagram feed will tell you that. But I know—because it’s happened to me—that the right picture or message on Instagram can transform your day.
Here’s my plan for this February: rather than focusing on myself, I’m going to aim for creating beauty and inspiration for others. It won’t be perfect, and some days it might not even be pretty, but remember—I never fail; I only learn and grow. So by the time March breaks through the darkness, I’ll be a stronger, better person. And with any luck, my Instagram feed will have inspired you in some way, too.
What’s your plan?
If you suffer from SAD or any type of depression, you must have a self-care plan. I’m no doctor or therapist, and as you can read here, medication is currently part of my regimen. But don’t stop there. Feed your soul. Don’t survive. Grow.
So yeah…it’s February. But I’m not afraid. There is grace for this month.
Let’s do this!