This past Monday was Blue Monday. The most Monday-iest Monday of the year. The third Monday in January is known to be the most depressing day of the year, according to Janel Casey, the Head of psychiatry at Royal Columbian Hospital.
She says this time of year might be a more difficult time for people coming off of the high from Christmas and New Years, having to go back to school and work. It’s also mid-winter and seasonal depression is most certainly a reality for many people.
I don’t know about you, but I certainly had a case of the Mondays. Not only did the day seem to drag on for way too long, but nothing seemed to go right.
My 4Runner has been out of commission for a week now. It should be a simple fix. It’s a long story but I can’t find the part that I need and despite the 1,000 people I’ve talked to and the fact that I’ve searched the darkest depths of the internet, it just doesn’t seem to exist (apparently). If anyone out there reading this knows a thing or two about 4Runners, specifically third generation, please email me! (In case you couldn’t tell I’m avoiding taking it to a mechanic).
Luckily, despite my car malfunction, I am able to get to work still thanks to the fact that five out of six people who live on the farm are currently commuting to Kimberley for work. It would be silly for us not to car-pool.
After we all got home on Monday we all came to the consensus that we were in a very Monday mood. Between work and car troubles and rude people and tailgaters, all of us were looking forward to Tuesday already. But, I digress. I won’t bore you with my trivial complaints because even though Monday felt blue, I was able to pick myself up. I pulled up my socks, took off my complaint cap and ended the day on a very happy note.
All it took was a nice long walk in the fresh air around the property. Oh, and a delicious, healthy meal. A glass of good wine and some fantastic music. By the time 9 p.m. rolled around I was no longer thinking about anything work or car-related. I was tired and full and ready to relax.
Casey recommends that anyone feeling seasonal affective disorder, or anyone feeling a little off for that matter, eat a balanced diet and avoid hibernation. I couldn’t agree more. Sometimes it’s hard to force yourself to strap on your boots and your winter gear and get outside, but nine times out of ten it works for me.
I love being outside. To watch my dog frolic in the snow, and to try and keep up with him. To stare at the mountains. To take a long, deep breath of the cool, crisp air. To see the lambs huddled together and the horses feeding on hay. It’s hard to have a bad day when you come home to a place where you’re surrounded by nature and critters and views.
I’ve read that people who have a vast view to look at on a regular basis are less likely to feel symptoms of depression and anxiety. I believe that, especially because when I look at the mountains and I feel so small, I’m humbled. There’s so much more out there than just me and my little life.
Sometimes it isn’t that simple, though, and not everyone has that luxury. Casey says that people should recognize when they need professional help. Those seeking advice or help locally can contact the Canadian Mental Health Association at 250-426-5222 or Interior Health’s Crisis Line Network at 1-888-353-2273. It’s important to validate and recognize the way you feel, and it’s important to take care of your self.
Maybe I, too, should be heeding Casey’s advice, but in the form of professional, mechanical help. I’ll let you know how that turns out. Happy Wednesday.