Sighing, I sit down to work at my computer after a couple of weeks of intermittent work and brace myself for diving back in. I’m irritated by Facebook finding it difficult to celebrate others’ successes and reading between the lines my own sense of failure. I’m sulky with friends who haven’t contacted me even though I’ve made no attempt to contact those friends either. Meditation is a constant battle of focus, and my gratitude list takes longer to assemble. There is no logic to my state of mind, and it happens every year…I’m feeling low in spirit.
After the holidays are done, family has returned to their respective geographical locations, Christmas lights are removed from our own and surrounding houses and all the shortbread is eaten, I find myself batting a case of “Is this it?”
Normally, it is my mission to keep my blogs upbeat and positive. I prefer to uplift and encourage as opposed to remind us to be stuck. The world has enough negativity, and I don’t need to add to that noise especially since a case of chronic negativity is more a matter of a skewed perspective.
However, we are not talking about a chronic state of mind here, but a period of feeling low, and all the change of perspective chatter cannot logic us out of it. Everything feels hard. The only thing to do at this point is to accept that it’s okay to be irritated with others, it’s okay to feel like a failure, it’s okay to be sulky and it’s okay to ask, “Is this it?”
The real growth here when we feel this way though is where we choose to put that energy.
How We Deal
Do we lash out at our family? Do we post negative comments on Facebook depreciating others’ successes? Do we bring an aura of negativity to work? Do we stop meditating and stop being grateful? Do we let our friends know they have let us down?
The obvious answer to the above is no, but this answer comes from a history of dealing with my low mood by acting out. This by the way never makes you feel better and has repercussions. Think of having a closet of balloons…once they’re out, it’s really hard, if not impossible, to bring them back again. Back away from the computer!
However, this is where acceptance does the hard lifting for us. By not stifling our emotions and accepting them, we can move from “woe is me” to “how can I best take care of myself at this time.” No explanation required, no excuses, just dealing with what is in the most healing way we can muster.
A Hibernation for the Soul
So, I’m going to do the only thing within my power to do. I’m going to accept my funk. I’m going to embrace the fact I’m feeling less than optimal and do simple things that bring me pleasure. I’m going to go back to basics and get enough sleep, feed myself nourishing food, cut down the sugar and take the dogs for a walk. I’m going to stay off Facebook and not go anywhere socially for a bit. I’m going to focus on moving slowly and mindfully through my day bringing my thoughts to the present instead of letting them create negative stories. I’m going to sit in the middle of the day with an uplifting book without guilt that I should be busy doing something else. I’m going to keep meditating and being grateful. I’m going on a hibernation for the soul.
I encourage you if you’re feeling this way to employ your own hibernation whatever that looks like. What I have found to be true is the more you fight it, the longer it will last, and the more likely you will lose control of your inner beast and start externalizing your low mood.
If you do, I promise life will look bright again soon.