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We all have those days when we just want to curl up and hide under the covers, not wanting to deal with what the world has to hit us with. Then there are those days when you not only want to hide under those covers, but you also never want to come out from under them. They start to feel heavy yet comforting as they envelope you, providing you an escape that you can retreat into.

Whether it is the daily grind of your work day or the stresses of life at home wearing you down — it can all make your mind just want to shut down. While this may not address everything feeding into the sadness and worry, identifying some factors may help bring you out of that slump. Once you identify it, you can then better address it. Here are a few that could be affecting your mood:

Get some sun

Commonly what people first think of is seasonal affective disorder (SAD), and given the dreary winter we’ve been having, it could be a real affliction for some of us out there. (Read more information on SAD here). This condition certainly need not apply to everyone, but weather can still bring us down even a little. Or just discourage us from wanting to do anything. For others, that can even include very warm days of sun and clear skies. While you can’t control whatever conditions may come outside, you can acknowledge how it’s making you feel and do what you can to lift yourself up.

Eat colorfully

There is some truth to the saying, “You are what you eat.” Or what you are not eating. As for me, after finding that I’m slightly anemic and deficient in Vitamin D, my goals have been making my meals more “colorful” and soaking in that sun. (Apparently too much studying has kept me cooped up indoors.) If you feel your energy level is low, check in with your primary care physician and see what may be appropriate for you. Even if you are adequately set on nutrition, you may still ask what to add as a boost, such as foods rich in Vitamin B-12 and omega-3 fatty acids.

Get your ZZZ’s

Some of us do just fine with six hours of sleep, while others are noticeably more irritable. However, sleeping too little and sleeping too much both can throw your mood off. Ensure some balance in your life by making sure you keep on a schedule. Design one that is best suited for you, whether you are an early bird or a night owl. As a night owl myself, I’ve had to set stricter times for not only when to go to bed, but also when to start getting ready for bed. On the days that I don’t want to get out of bed, I struggle sometimes. But I take it one step at a time. Then I find myself at least out of bed and commend myself for it. From there, my day can now start.

Know what gives you peace

As we do go about our day, we are kept fairly busy. Usually if there’s not just one thing we have to attend to, there seems to be another. Yet with so much weighing on your mind, there is only so much it can take. Reframe your thoughts from “I can’t” to “I can,” and repeat this enough that you start to believe it. I too need constant reminders, which is when I take comfort in inspirational quotes as well as motivational support from friends and family. Make sure you have your strategies for managing stress as part of your self-care plan.

Of course, this is all easier said than done. But take heart that there are others out there who have gone through and still are going through the same struggles. Being one of those people, I’ve sometimes let myself retreat into the darkness, succumbing to the security of sleep. Then I wake up and find something that makes me glad I went through with my day. Read my next post on what reminds me why life is worth living.

“It is said that the darkest hour of the night comes before dawn.”-Paulo Coehlo


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