Oh, February. It looks like I'm in the clutches of this month again.
There is part of me that knows it's part of a natural rhythm, the lowered energy levels, the looking within more. And then there's part of me that just wants to feel *better* NOW. In February, I feel down a little more, I'm a little more vulnerable to negative thoughts and feelings.
It used to be SO much worse, I used to barely be functional when I was depressed. A huge - HUGE - gift of unschooling, especially radical unschooling, has been that I've learned to aim for joy. Keep my compass aimed for joy. I've (we've) created a life that I love, and what a gift that is, to wake up each day grateful for what we have. By keeping the relationship with my sons primary in my life, I've been guided to a life that's fulfilling and amazing. In doing that, I dropped the depression. I needed some help with the shift - I took an antidepressant for about a year, just about five years ago. Since then, true depression hasn't happened. I've had my down times, just one really bad one spell that lasted a couple of weeks, but I haven't dropped off that abyss again. I am so freakin' grateful for that.
I also credit drumming, meditation, prayer, and reiki for that shift. And, of course, my boys.
I have learned through the years to accept February for what it is. I have learned some coping things, that I wrote about last year. To that list, I'd add: dance, often, as wildly and silly as you want. What a mood-shifter!
This year, on a friend's blog, I found another tool to use. It's a list, a reminder list, of things I love to do, that can shift how I feel. Here's her list:
How lovely is that? She has more lovely things, in her etsy store. I'm eyeing those printable Valentines! I ordered my list - you can customize your list with what helps you, and she'll design it up and send the pdf so you can print out as many as you want. I haven't yet filled mine out, though - I'm thinking of what I really want to have on there. Bake with Seth. Watch videos on YouTube with Evan. Draw with both boys. Draw alone. Take a walk with the boys and the dog.
I have so many possibilities! And I've decided that because the list is so pleasing to look at, I'm going to frame one copy and put it on my wall. It makes me happy just to look at it.
And it would make me happy, to help make you happy! To that end, I'm having a double give-away! First, I'm giving away a list for you! The winner will get an e-mail with details on how to get their very own customizable feel-good list. And, I'm giving away a copy of The River Why, which I wrote about last year. What a great book. I'm feeling all excited just thinking of you receiving either one of these!
All you gotta do is leave a comment, and in your comment, let me know what you do to help yourself feel better. How do you shift your mood? Does it include chocolate? Or do you just burrow under the covers for a while? I'll draw two names from the list of everyone that comments; one will receive the feel-good list, and one will receive the book.
Good luck! I feel better already!