September. The days are getting shorter. Nature pulls the shade on daylight earlier each day preparing us for “our long winter’s nap.” This is the time for the depression-prone to monitor themselves more closely. One particular type of depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is very prominent in my part of the world. You’ve got to be tough to live here in Michigan. I am.
Because fall is the doorway to winter, God gives us this beautiful season beforehand so we don’t become too disgruntled. If you live north of the equator, and have experienced depression, you might be panicking a bit now yourself.
As you know from “About Me”, I’ve been depression-free for years now. That’s because I’ve learned to work my plan and to work it at the right time. Preventing a depressive episode is often about the timing. Being proactive about your “dark winter’s nap” routine will prove beneficial.
My plan basically involves making good choices. And, pay attention to this next phrase, we are always making choices. For example, no one makes us sit on the sofa watching TV. We decide that. And sometimes, it’s perfectly ok to watch TV and munch on some non-healthy food. (No binges, though because then there’s that whole guilt thing you have to deal with. For me, it’s not worth it.) I had a day a few months ago when I did exactly that. I had the house to myself. I was a little “down” and excessively tired which I figured was probably why I was feeling a little blue. I intentionally decided I would indulge myself the whole afternoon. After about four hours, I felt much better. It felt good to indulge myself a little. But, and this is important, if I had felt sorry for myself and had just parked in front of the TV without thinking it through, it would not have been therapeutic. Am I making all this clear? Intentional choosing means we’re deciding for ourselves how to spend whatever discretionary time we have. More in the next post.