I was just thinking today that I am doing really good for it being mid January. I am always a little off in the winter time especially in places that actually have a winter. I suffer from some really bad depression that makes my life come to a halt. When I lived in Florida it wasn't as bad because it was warm and the sun would show itself most of the time. I could ride Blue all year round and I had a great support system.
The last few years in upstate NY I barely made it thru the winters. It was cold and gloomy most of the time and it seemed like the snow would never end. I couldn't go out on Blue very often, I felt trapped and my support system was very limited. Each winter I was in NY the worse it got. This last winter was the worst and I tried everything to keep myself going. I had many plans that might have worked if I was able to keep them going but myself and my job didn't permit some of the things I needed and then of course everything fell apart.
Some of the things I tried last winter was a strict schedule including where I needed to be, someone I needed to see every few days, what I was going to eat that day and something enjoyable to do each day. I created a chore list so I was sure basic things would be done like feeding my boys, going to the grocery store, taking out the trash and cleaning my apartment. I got a weighted vest and one of those sun lamps. The weighted vest and an exercise ball did help out since I can get very frustrated but the sun lamp just gave me a headache so I rarely used it. I had gotten to the point where I literally could not move for days. As I said before I was at a point where hospitalization or a day program should of been where I spent most of my winter. Luckily it wasn't.
Depression is hard to plan around but every year I know it is coming so planning ahead of time is key. Finding a job that can be flexible and a support system is a good start. It isn't that I don't have to worry about depression all year round but the winter seems to be where it is the worst.
This year I have been pretty happy. Probably because I am living the life I have dreamed about forever but I also had to realize I am staying in a place where there is a winter. It gets cold, we get a little bit of snow but luckily there is a lot of sun.
Some of the things I do to keep myself in a good place are:
I take vitamin D every day.. I use a liquid form where I just have to put a drop on my tongue every morning.
I keep a low stress life. If something is stressing me out or frustrating me I put it down and walk away until I feel better about it. I have a few bills and have to make some money but I don't have to worry as much about money because I don't have to worry about rent which was a huge stressor for me since I never made enough to pay rent. Rent in most places is excessive for a single person. In the dumps I have lived in it would normally cost me close to half of my salary... that is no more. Stress is a huge trigger and it really isn't worth it in the long run.
I give myself things I need to accomplish every day. Not too many things and simple things. For instance one day I will take out the garbage and bring in fire wood. Another day I may make a goal of crocheting a hat. On all the nice days I walk to get the mail and play with all the dogs outside.
I am up every morning usually when the sun rises. There is no alarm set but luckily insomnia has not met up with me yet this winter. I go to bed at a decent time and I sleep thru the night. I sometimes take a nap in the afternoon if I am tired but I don't even need a nap every day.
I have done really well with food which has the tendency to fall apart. I make a plan in my head for the day of what I am going to eat. I listen to my body and eat when I am hungry. I have been drinking water and less caffeinated drinks. I did have a day where I craved caffeine so I allowed myself but it is not a daily thing... neither is sweets. I eat them when I want them but not necessary every day because my mood is pretty stable.
I have some other creative ideas that I work on a little bit at a time that make me happy but I can't work on too much or I become a perfectionist which leads to depression. Unfortunately once my perfectionist part comes out I can't do anything right.... so I work on it as long as it is fun and put it away when it becomes more stressful.
These small basic ideas have made a huge difference. It is also helpful that I don't have to be going all the time and there really is no one for me to please. I can do what I want when I want which I guess goes with the stress level. I am someone who likes people but I can't be around them all the time. If I am constantly around people I need a day where I completely hibernate but since I don't see people every day or even talk to people every day I can keep going every day of the week. I think it is having a good middle ground where I am not completely isolated but not a social butterfly either. I am someone who needs to be a little more on the isolated side but again I don't mind people in moderation. The pets are really helpful also. They all have a schedule and let me know it is time to get moving and when I am happy they are happy. They like to cuddle and play and that makes me a happy Jackie.
So far this winter I feel I have been quite successful. Finding things that keep me happy and I am very content with my life and couldn't ask for more.
BlueRoad is a multimedia project about the life of Patches O’Nassis, the 1st person to live fulltime in a teardrop trailer pulled by a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Documenting her life on the road with her dog named Yoska, chicken named Esmeralda, Harley called Blue and teardrop trailer called TicTac. Empowering herself and women everywhere to follow their dreams no matter how wild they may seem. Anything is possible.
Thursday, January 17, 2013
Making it thru Winter
Posted by Patches O'Nassis at 9:00 AM
Location: New Mexico, USA
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