This time of year is really hard. It's been dark out for months and the weather is doing it's usual thing - the thing where it gets warm, but summer is still months away, the sun is MIA and mud season is looming.
I am sure that I get seasonal depression. The last week or so, I've really been feeling it - I feel flat, unmotivated, disinterested and generally miserable. When I feel that way, I stop thinking that school is a good idea because I lose perspective. I have a hard time doing stuff that isn't mandatory (like the reading assignments that probably are the reason I do well in my classes). Generally, I just don't see the point of working so hard - because I have already decided I'm going to fail.
This week, I've just soldiered on. I've done stuff I really didn't want to do, like outline the chapters we're reading in my Mineralogy textbook (instead of just reading them) and spent extra time in the geology lab with thin sections and the microscope. I've cooked dinner instead of just ordering take-out, even though I just wanted to get in bed. I've done my best to be kind to the people around me - the construction worker that's been drilling outside my office all week and the coworker who finds a problem with everything - even if I've just felt like being a huge jerk.
Last year, this time, I was pretty depressed. Then one day J and I were walking with some friends by the lake and while the sun was setting, some ducks flew over the water and for some reason, I just felt better. Something about how gracefully the ducks glided just inches from the surface made me so happy - it reminded me of all of the amazing things I have around me. That experience, and a cardinal that began singing outside of our front door ushered in a new season and I experience a little bit of a rebirth, as I do after every winter.
This morning, J sent me a sweet message that gave me just the little boost I needed to have a positive outlook. I don't feel quite as terrible and some part of me is actually hopeful. Later today, I have a date with some birds. As part of a study I'm conducting (for a lab assignment - this is not research) I have to go sit for an hour in the woods and observe birds at three sets of bird feeders. It's not that warm out today, but it's sunny and I think that my time outside will be another boost.
I am a big advocate of taking care of myself. I don't like to rely on other people to make me feel okay and I don't think that it's healthy to do; however, some days I just don't have what it takes to pull myself out of a funk. It's those days that I'll take all the help I can get.