Wednesday, 30 January 2019

Bell Let's Talk Day

Bell has a great mental health initiative called Bell Let's Talk. On this day, Bell Canada aims to increase mental health awareness in hopes to decrease mental health stigma and will donate 5 cents to mental health initiatives each time their official video is viewed. Click here to see the video and to see other ways how you can support this worth cause on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

Bell Let's Talk 2019 is today so get out on social media and Let's Talk!

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

When Grey Makes Blue

For the past two years, January has been a difficult month for me. In 2017 I was at my lowest and losing my battle against depression (until I sought help) and in 2018 I felt like I was regressing again after almost a year of therapy, self-discovery, and improvement. This year, I am feeling it again.

What is it about January? For me, perhaps it's because I remember how things were for me two years ago (the feeling of hopelessness, darkness, and failure) or because it's the middle of winter where I live (which means dark, grey, and cold days)...or maybe a bit of both. Whatever it is, the winter greys can really get me feeling blue. 

Either way, like I said before, earlier this month I felt myself sliding into a rut again. There were some days I just didn't feel like doing anything and would literally sit on the couch for most of the day either napping or just holding my 3 month old son, and found myself getting more and more easily irritated by my husband and kids. The sleepless nights didn't help (my son still wakes up throughout the night) which made my energy levels plummet, and I'm still not on my ADHD meds so organizationally my already scattered mind is just ridiculously all over the place right now (can someone KonMari my brain, please?). 

When I was in my rut last year and struggling with sleep once again, my family doctor suggested that I get a SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) Lamp. This is the one that I ended up getting. The fact that they sell these at all to the general public tells me that there are a lot of people who feel the winter blues, however I think that people living with depression are more vulnerable to it given our diagnosis.

While the light didn't cure me magically overnight, I do think it was beneficial (and works as a great bedside lamp for feeding my son at night these days lol) as a complement to my medications and therapy. Sleep-wise, things seemed to improve (well, until I got pregnant the next month, but that's a whole different story!) and my happy lamp did play a role. Would I get one if I had to make the choice again? Yes. Would I recommend it to someone affected by the winter blues? Yes - it's not a miracle cure, but it definitely doesn't hurt to have.

These days I have been feeling a bit better (we have had some bright sunny winter days so I think that has helped) and I've forced myself to go outside for walks more frequently when it hasn't been freezing outside which has also been good for me. I still feel exhausted and sometimes just want to sleep all day, but I'm trying my best and it seems to be working even if my steps are small. I'm all about celebrating all the victories, even the little ones. 

If you are feeling blue these days, take heart: you are not alone. Seek help, take care of yourself, and give yourself a break - it's not your fault.

Here's to overcoming ruts and continuing to fight the good fight. Onwards and upwards, friends.