Feeling glum and down in the dumps: Beating the January blues
I’m blue. In fact I am so blue I am navy. Yes I’m suffering from a severe case of the January blues. And the strange thing is I have heard about them but it has never really affected me before, or at least not that I can remember. But for the last week I have been walking around like Charlie Brown, head down, feeling glum and majorly down in the dumps. And I really wish it would lift.
I have been trying to figure out what is wrong with me and why it is affecting me so much and the only real thing that I can come up with is that we had such a lovely Christmas together that I am now crashing down from a real high.
And the reason it was so nice is that for the first time in years we went absolutely nowhere. Every other year we would be packing up the car after Christmas day to go and spend a few days with my husband’s family and get back just in time for New Year’s.
But this year we decided to leave it so the furthest we went each day was for a walk with the two duckies on their new bicycles or to my sister’s house for a short visit and then it was straight back home again to our cosy little bubble. And it was sheer bliss.
For about five days we just existed together. We did the simplest of things like sit on the couch every morning eating toast and watching tv – the four of us huddled up together with plates on our laps.
We did jigsaws on the floor and played Hungry Hippos. We made sandwiches at lunchtime and then went for a walk in the afternoon and then it was back to the house for some tea and chocolate and a bit more tv. We managed to spend a lot of uninterrupted time together.
And as the days passed by I began to realise just how starved we had all been for it.
The rest of the year we are in the house together but generally passing each other by, toing and froing in the hectic-ness that is daily life. We are rarely all sitting down in the one place. So when Christmas came to an end I could see that we were starting to return to that way of life.
And I started to feel anxious. On New Year’s Eve morning I could feel a panic attack coming on, something which I am prone to but normally pretty good at keeping control of.
I sat down in the bathroom and took some deep breaths to calm it down but that shortness of breath lingered over me for the entire day.
I knew what was wrong with me – the following day was New Year’s Day and the last official day of our holidays because my husband would be returning to work the day after. Normality was about to resume.
So since then it has been a struggle. I have been feeling a heaviness, a bleakness that I have never really felt before. Maybe I just got a taste for something that I really enjoyed and I didn’t want to let it go. Because when I think about it, every other aspect of our lives is good. There is very little to complain about.
Of course there are always elements that I would like to change and improve upon but nothing that is out of reach if I put the effort in. And yes before you even think it I have already been on the treadmill twice since the New Year and I have blended a whole bunch of fruit into smoothies, in true January style. But I don’t see that as a resolution, I like to think of it as optimism.
Chances are I probably won’t stick to it every week (especially the smoothies) but I have hope! And without hope what is there really?
So today has been better than yesterday, and I am hopeful that tomorrow will be even better. The sun is shining this morning and we have already been out for a bit of fresh air. The days are beginning to slowly stretch out and hopefully Spring is just around the corner.
Instead of making pointless resolutions that I most definitely will not keep, I am going to draw from the lessons that this Christmas has taught me which is that we need to spend more time together as a family. A little more ‘we’ time and a lot more of doing nothing together.
Life needs to slow down more than once a year. If we can accomplish that then I think I will start to see my blues fading away. Of course if I could manage to lose a couple of pounds in the process that would be an added bonus!