Seasonal depression can be a very real thing for the baddies who need to see the sunlight more than others. With the change in the weather accompanied by early nightfall, our serotonin levels can do a real nosedive leading to increased anxiety and dangerous mood swings. In trying times, our mind can pull double duty to convince us that everything is a mess in our lives rather than putting into perspective the ebbs and flows of life. It is important that we are able to pull ourselves back into reality when things turn upside down and seem bleak. There is a crucial point in our days in which we can make the choice to believe the lie that things cannot improve or we redirect ourselves by remembering all of the hard times we’ve survived in the past. We are no less strong than we were then and we have all the tools we need to dig ourselves out of any perceived emotional and mental holes.
So, here are six things to remember on your hard days.
This too shall pass.
Just like any number of things that we have experienced before, this will soon be over. It may feel like the worst has happened, it may even feel like there is no sunshine in the grey clouds but that’s just not the truth. No matter how much darkness there is, the sun is only a night away. Hold on to the morning and the sun will rise for you.
You are not defined by your worst days.
Though you may feel responsible, in part or solely, for the things you’re experiencing, it’s important that you do not make it part of your identity. Bad things happen to good people and there’s nothing you can do about it. None of us deserve suffering, no matter what we may have done or failed to do. We all have a chance to define who we are and we shouldn’t be doing so when we are in our darkest hours.
Nothing you feel is wrong but it may not be true.
When we find ourselves in a heightened state of anxiety or depression, we can feel an innumerable amount of things at once. Though it is important to validate our feelings, it doesn’t mean that we have to hold onto to them as fact. Sometimes what we are feeling is linked to stories that we have become comfortable telling ourselves that no longer serve who we have worked hard to be. There is nothing necessarily true about any of your feelings at any given time no matter how real they may seem.
Feelings only last for 90 seconds unless we turn them into stories.
This is a scientifically proven fact. No human being has any one feeling for longer than 90 seconds unless they allow that feeling to grow roots and create stories in their mind to further exacerbate whatever it is they may feel. You do not have to make a home out of any feeling, you can simply acknowledge it’s presence and then let it go. Your next feeling may not be a thousand times better but it can be different.
You are never alone.
No matter how things may seem, there is someone in the world who has experienced the depth of pain/loss/shame/disappointment/etc...that you are experiencing currently. Life can seem very isolating when things aren’t going as planned and the story that we can easily tell ourselves is that no one in the history of the world has ever felt as low as we do. This isn’t true. Sharing with friends and trusted allies how you’re feeling can unearth some stories that we may not even be privy to about the things people have been able to survive and continue to thrive in spite of.
You are necessary.
When things are dark in our lives we can forget how much we mean to the people in our lives and to the world. If no one has told you today, let me be the one to say it: WE NEED YOU. When you get to the other side of this time in your life, you’ll have so much knowledge to offer someone else. You’ll be able to offer a hand, an ear and space to someone who may also be feeling the world closing in on them. There is no life that you have touched that would be the same without you in it.