Dealing with Depression/Lack of motivation
QUESTION: First off, I complained quite a bit in this note, which is not normal for me. So, I want to make it clear that I know this not a serious issue and I feel enormously blessed for a whole multitude of things in my life.
It's winter where I live and each year I struggle with keeping myself motivated during this season. I get bored and I can't shake it for months. I lose my motivation to do much of anything at all. My zest for life seems to disappear. I still get up and get to work on time and do a good job while I'm there. I still feed myself. I am not miserable.
I love to cook and I know a ton about food; I planned and cooked an epic Thankgiving meal. Lately, though, I have only been making the simplest meals. I have not cared much about my appearance, or keeping my house clean. I have only made half-hearted attempts to see my friends. I have only left my house for a couple hours on my last few days off. By the end of the workday I feel like I have literally been there a million hours and my patience wears thin. I snapped at my coworkers several times last week. I know I need to get a new job, but don't care enough to look. I know picking up new hobbies would help, but I'm too lazy.
I make attempts to stem this negativity, but I hardly am ever able to follow them through to completion. I tell myself all of these things are small obstacles that I can easily surmount (because they are!). Yet, somehow, whenever I am in this funk and I try to fight against it I just end up feeling totally drained.
I like to believe I am at the helm of my life, so I'm not going to let this drag me down into despair. But, it's hard sometimes. Sometimes I feel like I am literally going to DIE of boredom. This is shocking to me. I simply cannot understand how it is possible for me not to be happy when I have so many amazing things to be grateful for.
Anywho. Would you say this lack of motivation is a typical case of winter blues? And can you give me any pointers on how I might keep myself more engaged?
Thanks and thanks!
ANSWER: What you're going through is normal- most people experience, though not typically this pronounced. The main thing I think is the way you view the situation- you're thinking easy meals = bad, lazy = bad, not doing anything = bad. Think of this as you time to recharge and reflect and love the down times, so what if you just want to lay in bed after work? You surely deserve it after being upbeat all eyar...even bears have to slow down during the winter.
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QUESTION: I like your response. The problem is not with doing nothing, I love to chill out. The problem is when I let myself get bored negative thoughts flow in like crazy. I start to care about myself and other people less. I actually have to convince myself that it's worth the effort to shower or do something fun or be civil to other people. Everything feels like a chore. It's tiresome. My boyfriend actually broke up with me because I kept picking stupid fights and he said I smelled bad. I think it's kinda funny, actually.
Also, I think I have a fare bit of anxiety about it because every year I fear I will never get out of this funk.
What are your thoughts about how I could enjoy the downtime more?
Write diary, and for every day during the down season, focus on one thing you'll do this day to make your self, or someone else happy. Can be a small thing like a haircut, or something grander like donating to the food bank. Every day, one thing, no more, and then just let your mood take you where it will. This way you are fulfilling a purpose, be it big or small, while still have lots of time to let your self go.
Everyday before you go to bed, write down what you did today that's nice. Everyday you wake up, lay there and think for a few minutes what else you can do today that's nice.