Creative Encouragement: Or Just Regular Encouragement

22 October, 2012

in Creative Encouragement,Daily Life & Family Love,Goals

I joined the Y today. The winter blues I didn't used to get 'til Jan & Feb seem to be coming earlier & have hit me something fierce this year. Hoping fun, daily classes at the Y will do the trick. I need some encouragement, okay? Will you check in with me

Hello, friends!

I’m fitting this post into the Creative Encouragement series, but ostensibly, it’s really just regular encouragement. And I’m writing it as much for myself as for you.

I’ve always known that my love of bright colors wasn’t just chalked up to style or taste. I feel dramatically different when I’m in colorful, light-filled environments. And I think I’ve always gotten the winter blues a bit. At least ever since I moved to Michigan when I was 15. The gorgeous Great Lakes I love so much also put us up there in the region of cloudiest areas, along with places like Portland and Buffalo. This site says we only get 65 full sunny days a year. Bah!

This year, as soon as the weather turned from the amazingly sunny late days of summer to clouds I could feel it immediately. And until yesterday’s, 2 weeks of almost-constant clouds and rain have taken their toll. I’m feeling the blues badly this year. It is not cool. At all. I struggle with feeling sad, tired, lethargic, and out of motivation.

The first couple weeks I felt it mildy in September, I let it go. But after a couple weeks of feeling it strongly, I decided to tackle it head on. Feeling low, reading more books, and carb-loading are sorta accepted practices for January and February and are often seen as cozying in, and hibernating. Even in a bad winter, it’s only a few weeks, and then things start perking up for Spring. But when I realized this was starting in October and how hard it was hitting me, I decided I’d better pay attention.

As a mama I don’t have the time, and as a person I don’t have the desire to lose months and months of my life to this.

What I’m doing so far:

1. Last Thursday I joined the Y. Which I’d meant to do in September. And I’m going to go every day that I can for at least an hour. I’m going to take classes, see people, learn new things, and get out of the house. I don’t really care what class or exercise it is as long as I am learning something new and breathing harder.

2. I’m also going to try harder at cutting more sugar out of my diet. This is hard for me, and I’ve talked about it before, but as a hypoglycemic, I have to. I know blood sugar affects hormones. And I don’t want my body to be having to work hard against the one-two punch of too much sugar and not enough sun.

3. I tend to not talk to people about what I’m going through publicly until I’ve been through most of it, but this time I’ve put this photo out on Instagram and Facebook and now I’m telling you. I just have too many good and necessary things I want to do to be downed by this.

4. I’m also taking Vitamin D just in case that helps, and a daily vitamin.

5. And I’m continuing to work hard at decluttering, especially my closets, garage, and basement. You know, the places where you stuff things. Ever since I started doing more work at home in earnest, the clutter that didn’t used to bother me does. I will never have a minimalist house, but I can certainly simplify it down to the stuff that matters most to us.

I know this isn’t a normal post for Things Bright and talking about seasonal depression on here feels like a mismatch, but as they say, I could “use a little help from my friends.”

And it really isn’t a mismatch because I’m a firm believer that everything is connected and one of the main purposes of Things Bright is to not only bring literal brightness into your day, but also mental/emotional/spiritual brightness and encouragement as well.

So consider this post more of behind-the-scenes look.

Thank you for listening, my friends! When I was pouring out a thousand frustrations to Joe today, he was encouraging me by pointing to my accomplishments. “You’re a great mom” being the sweetest. He brought up the blog and asked how many posts I’d done. I said seven or eight hundred (752 to be exact), which I don’t really think is that big of a deal. He said is was an amazing accomplishment that not a lot of people have.

While I think he might have on rose-colored glasses concerning me, it reminded me of how wonderful it is to have you. I still absolutely love sharing what inspires me with you! So thank you for being here!

Having more post ideas than I can shake a stick at, and wanting to have the energy to get them out there for you, is one of the reasons I want to bust through this gloom!

Again, thank you for listening.

xoxo,
Elizabeth

p.s. Perhaps it’s obvious, but ideas, tips, or anything helpful is welcome!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

New Dress A DayNo Gravatar

The web is such an amazing place for support – thank you for sharing! Everything is connected, that is for sure!! I’m on the vitamin D train myself, and as for the clutter…always a work in progress!! xx Marisa

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ElizabethNo Gravatar

Marisa,

You’re most welcome! And you’re so right about the support – just talking and getting it out there even a little bit chases so much of the blues away. And thanks for the encouragement to keep on the Vit D and declutter!

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Sister DianeNo Gravatar

You’re an inspiration, Elizabeth, tackling the blues with such focus and positvity. I’ve found the Vitamin D super helpful during “the grey season” here, and you’re absolutely right that motion makes a huge difference. (Though I have to admit, I struggle all the time with maintaining a good movement practice.)

A good sugar-cutting tip: switch to agave nectar. It has a much lower glycemic index than sugar, and it’s significantly sweeter, so you use much less. And hydrate like crazy while you’re cutting sugar – you’ll feel better faster!

I am sending you lots of love and support!

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ElizabethNo Gravatar

Dearest Diane,

Ha! Thank you! It is very encouraging to hear one is an inspiration when one feels so low. Thank you for the compliment! I’ll keep on with the vit D and try the agave nectar – though I confess my main failing is sweet drinks like chai and Coke with is just need to seriously pare down until I can give at least one up altogether. And thanks for the reminder to hydrate – that helps so much in many ways! Thanks for all your love and support!! xoxo

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CarmelNo Gravatar

Proper hydration, proper diet… proper sleep! I maintain that “beauty sleep” doesn’t refer to outer beauty but to inner beauty- we act and feel more “beautiful” when we have had enough sleep.

You don’t mention it except in your love of bright colors, but for years now I have actively worn the brightest colors possible on the coldest, greyest days. It takes some searching because clothing stores seem to think everyone wants to wear the dullest colors when nature is at her dullest, but it makes such a difference for me. (And has the weird side effect of me wearing my dullest colors during spring and summer, just for a change!) Even adding a bright jacket or accessory helps- bright shoes are wonderful. You feel better every time you look in the mirror, which is always a good thing. :)

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ElizabethNo Gravatar

Carmel,

Thank you so much! Wearing the brightest colors on the darkest days sounds brilliant! I where colors a lot naturally, but being more mindful about it in the way you are sounds smart and fun. And I will keep on keeping on with the propoer rest, hydration, and diet – thanks for the push!

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