This time of year is rough for those of us that deal with depression (bipolar or otherwise). There is all this hype about the holidays and you even find yourself a wee bit excited about what’s under the Christmas tree. You get to go to parties, spend time with family and friends – it can be a very social time. And then there is New Year’s Eve and the promise of a new year, a fresh start.
Now it is January 20th and the glitter is gone. There are bills to pay due to overspending on the holidays. You regret kissing that guy you work with at the office Christmas party. You are back home alone. For a lot of us, it is cold as crap outside and there is snow and ice and we have to prep for power failures.
January generally sucks for the reasons I’ve listed above and the reasons you harbor. Now we are in the thick of it, the time of year when, for a lot of us, it is dark outside by 5:30P.M. As humans, we need sunlight. That is why it is important to use light therapy. What I mean by that is to use a light that is made to trick your body into thinking you’ve got your sunlight for the day. I have a goLITE I bought years ago. Today the prices are more reasonable and you have so many more choices.
Basically what you do is sit somewhere where the light box is about an arms-length away for 15-30 minutes a day. You don’t have to stare at the light, it just has to hit your eyes. I like to put the box next to my computer screen so that as I am working, I am getting the benefits of light therapy.
Besides light therapy, be sure to keep going to talk therapy. This time of year is super depressing, but you don’t have to let depression win. Don’t isolate yourself. It is a great time to find a support group. Check out both NAMI and DBSA to find a meeting near you. I love going to my DBSA support group, as I’ve mentioned in another blog post – the people in the group are my tribe. Reach out to others if you need help. Hey, everyone needs help sometimes, mentally ill or not.
It is only 58 days ’til Spring, that is less than two months. So chin up, dear reader, we’ll make it.
Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net