Mental Illness: A Fair Weather Friend, A Bad Weather Bully

Hi, I'm Kay and I am diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and an unidentified mood disorder. Not many people would like to talk about their mental illnesses as openly as I do. Personally, I think talking about my mental illnesses helps me cope. Many people like to say that they have seasonal depression. I know that not all of them are making it up, but a lot of them just mistake being stuck inside and lack of sunlight as an actual mental illness. I'm not discrediting anybody's mental illnesses, it's just that sometimes people don't realize that others are actually legitimately struggling. I personally have depression year-round, as crappy as that is . One thing that makes it difficult to deal with is the fact that it does get worse in the winter months . And when my depression gets worse than it usually is, it also drags down my ability to cope with my anxiety as well as I usually do. Therefore, my mental illnesses get worse at specific times of year. Sadly, the weather also affects my mental illnesses as well . For example when it rains, my chest feels tighter and it's harder for me to get out of bed. It's not that I'm lazy, it's just that my anxiety makes it difficult for me to do normal human things, not to mention depression builds upon that as well. But when it's warm out and the sun is shining, it feels like the whole world has been lifted off my shoulders and nothing bad will ever happen to me. So clearly spring is a very difficult season for me. It's like there's no middle ground, everything is in limbo. It feels like everybody gets very frustrated with me because I can't seem to decide day to day whether I can function or not. Obviously, this can be very hard for me to deal with. But there are a few things in my life that I try to keep as constants so I have something to rely on when I am having a hard time on my own. One of those things are the positive friend group. Surrounding yourself with positive people can really help your mindset, even if you don't realize it at the time. Good friends really make a difference in your life; appreciate them. Another thing I rely on is music. Finding music that makes me happy or even relates to my situation makes me feel 10 times better than I did when I woke up that morning. Just a happy song can turn your entire mood upside down. Third, as cliche as it sounds, eating healthy will also benefit your mental health. I'm personally trying very hard to keep up with it this semester in college. But honestly, every so often my depression just wants me to eat an ice cream cone every night. Next, taking walks outside when it's nice out really help you clear your mind and relax. My anxiety makes me feel like I'm being trapped in a cave that's just getting smaller, so walking around outside in a big open space helps me ground myself. Finally, self-care will do wonders for you . Take a bath when you feel like it, do a face mask, go to Lush and get yourself a bath bomb, or even just sit around and rub lotion on your skin while listening something nice. Everybody's mental illnesses are different , as are everybody's ways of coping . Spend some time to figure out what works for you . It'll get better, even if it doesn't seem like it will at the time. Rainy days can't last forever, sooner or later the sun will peek out from behind its cloud . I promise it's warmer in the sun when it shows its face.