Tag Archives: Seasonal Affective Disorder

Keeping an Eye on Your Mental Health

I was sifting through my Twitter posts and saw a meme which reminded me of how I felt at the moment of seeing the meme, and I thought I’d post it here:

source: i.chzbgr.com

If ever there was a meme to sum up me during 2020 it was this. But I was thankful because as I approach the shortest day of the year, I am keeping an eye on how I am doing mentally. Last week I was caught short and by Friday I seriously wondered if I was going to be able to make it through to the end of next week. Work has suddenly become more hectic which coincided with my son’s year group being on a 14 day self isolation stint due to one child testing positive for Covid. I was back to home schooling while holding down a full time job with no family support as my siblings are either in high risk groups or live too far away.

This is my third job this year. When we entered into Lockdown in March I was on contract but this particular contract was about to end and so by lockdown I was working through my notice, still training users how to quickly use MS Teams which had been frantically brought in to cope with the organisation suddenly being forced to work remotely. All of us was home and I was home schooling in between.

After this contract ended, I was blessed to move into another job. Whilst still in lockdown, I had to map out how I was going to deliver training for a course, get to know new work colleagues, learn the basics of approximately 5 computer programming languages (one each week or so) with a 48 hour turnaround to then deliver them to a course group. I still – as a single mum – had to try to keep the family together who by now were beginning to exhibit the stress of missing school friends and the familiar routine of school. It was during this period that we lost Knuckles to boot and I crashed and burnt resulting to needing about 2 weeks (I had the most amazing boss back then). But the task of juggling all these things meant that I needed to return back to common ground which was where I resigned and went back to contracting.

It’s crunch time with this current role but compared to the last role where I was having to grasp and apply my understanding of programming languages I’d never used before (beyond Python), this wasn’t as stressful. My primary school aged son was back in school and up until a week ago things were manageable.

Now, I am sharing this with you because by the end of last week I had forgotten about a few things which in turn made my stress and mood plummet:

  1. I failed to force myself to attempt only those things I knew I could achieve and to say ‘no’ to anything else. My Project manager has no idea what I was juggling and I should have told him
  2. I rushed into the day and took late nights. My mind was swimming with my ‘to do’ list and as a result I was going to bed later, shooting awake at 4am. With this one I managed to catch it mid-week but made sure this weekend to just plain sleep!
  3. I had stopped taking little walks in my garden. Part of my screen break was to wander in my garden and take in the goldfish in the pond, do a bit of weeding – just little 10 minute activities which helped me maintain being on terra-firma. Bad weather and work had caused this to pretty much stop
  4. I failed to put my son before work, which upset him and which in turn upset me (never like seeing him disheartened)
  5. I was rushing into the day and skipping my quiet time with God. Yes, a face palm moment for those of you who are believers

Friday evening I was an emotional, weepy old dear who began to wonder whether I was going to be able to pull myself out of such depressive thoughts. And yet on reflection (and after two very good nights sleep) I had forgotten to consider just how seriously blessed I am.

Well the good news was that it is possible to turn things back!

It was while I was reading back on my earlier posts that I was reminded about my post called “Running from your Lynels“. The main thing that I had forgotten to do was to remind myself who was with me every single step of the way, good or bad, hard or easy times. You see, with God all things are possible.

No one ever said my life or my experiences were ever going to be a walk in the park, 100% of the time. But by noting when things are beginning to slip and then reminding myself of who I serve and therefore, immediately casting all my cares, worries, fears, weariness, anxiety, depressive thoughts, discouragement, apathy…. you get the idea…. onto Him, the burden gets easier to carry.

The main silver bullet on this occasion that significantly carries me through these episodes of SAD/depressive thoughts is singing. Today, with the weather looking dull and overcast, I put on some worship songs on You Tube which included lyrics as well and belted out some praise and worship to the One who sustains me.

So if you have been drawn to my post, it is by no mistake – if you are feeling low, leave a reply below my post and I will stand in agreement with you in prayer to reassure you that you are not alone and you will get through this.