February Blues

February is taking its sweet time…and the gloominess is a bit much. Days when the sun comes out are like little blessings and I feel like a new person.

The past two weeks I have felt off. I didn’t feel like cooking (have you seen all of the quesadillas I ate?!), I was tired all the time, and I didn’t have many plans so I was home a lot.

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When these feelings of isolation and limitations come on I tend to treat myself with wine and chocolate because I know I will experience instant gratification. And I do. But then I started feeling like this wasn’t enough because I didn’t feel long term gratification. I still felt down. Therefore, I started thinking of what else I could do.

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Some of my ideas for dealing with winter:

Talk to someone. It’s okay to ask for help. Therapy has helped me immensely through my dietetic internship. I met with my therapist last week and she told me to look at all that I have accomplished and how far I’ve come. When I feel down or anxious about what comes next I can sit with the feelings or think of something to do to deal with the emotions. But I have to figure out what that is…
Keep exercising. I have never looked at exercise as stress relief or an escape. It used to be a chore and I now find I look forward to my runs most of my runs.

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Get out of the house. This past weekend I was planning on lounging all day and then making dinner so that I could have leftovers all weekend since I have to work. Christine texted me Friday night and invited me over to cook dinner and just not be alone. It ended up being so much fun (not that I thought it wouldn’t be fun) and I felt warm and happy for the first time in a long while. I need to have more plans to just be with my friends. We don’t need to do anything fancy, but I need to enjoy them while I can.
Get outside. UVB rays really do work wonders (especially when you just ran out of vitamin D pills). Colleen invited me to go cross country skiing on Friday morning. We went to the farms close by because they are free and flat and absolutely gorgeous and we didn’t have much time. I was freezing after my run and almost bailed but I am SO glad Colleen convinced me to go. Blasting the heat in my car definitely warmed me up and I forgot how great skiing feels. It also stretched out my hips after my run so that was an added bonus!

Cook food. Lately I have just been throwing food together and it just does not taste as satisfying as when I put in effort. Even just a little bit of effort. I made a bowl of rice, roasted squash, carrots, and parsnips, and a turkey sausage. It tasted so fresh and nutritious! And I was patient and let the veggies roast until they were soft and slightly brown…perfection!

Eat at the table. Eating at the dining room table may not slow me down (I eat fast especially when it’s delicious), but I am more aware of what I am eating. Most nights I get sucked in to whatever show I am watching and eat on the futon, but I am much more satisfied when I eat at the table. This was my New Year Resolution and clearly I haven’t been succeeding…

Only a little over a week and February will be over. Today I got a taste of Spring and it was glorious! Bring on the warmer weather and longer days…but not the mud.

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