“I always get sad in winter.”
This is a ‘story’ that I tell myself and even tell others. By labeling myself with this ‘story’ I am actually allowing myself to behave in a way that reflects this, and getting falsely rewarded.
I am making a self-sabotaging excuse for myself for laying in bed all day, being bothered by the darkness and cold, and being lazy, sad, and unmotivated – because it’s winter.
This theory that self-imposing stories are actually mental excuses and manifestations of your life is not made up by me. What inspired me to write this blog post is a chapter in a self-help book, “You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life” by Jen Sincero. It’s actually a New York Times Best Seller and I can see why.
In chapter 17, titled “It’s So Easy Once You Figure Out It Isn’t Hard,” she explains these concepts of self-sabotaging “stories” we place on ourselves, how the behaviors from these “stories” are actually are rewarding us in an unmotivating way, and then she challenges readers to do some self-analysis on the subject.
“I should / shouldn’t..”
“I suck at..”
These are phrases that we tell ourselves, and then it becomes who we are.
Even before Jen wrote about it, Wallace Wattles wrote, “To think what you want to think is to think the truth, regardless of appearances.”
Recently this concept spoke to me and gave me some self-awareness that I think can also help others. In just the last day, I’ve spoken to more than one friend asking them how they’re doing, with a response relating to their recent depression struggles.
I myself have experienced recent self-loathing days where a depressive, anxious inner chatter takes over, and traditionally, I respond by sleeping the day away. One of my recent spiraling depressive episodes was the day after daylight savings occurred.
“I always get sad in winter.”
As we struggle with the time-change, the occurrence of less daylight and more darkness is a dooming depressive period for many, and with biological reasoning behind it too.
It’s proven that human beings need a certain amount of vitamin D, which is naturally occurring from the sun; hence Seasonal Affective Disorder, which is when your body lacks vitamin D leading to depression.
It’s also scientifically proven that we have internal clocks, and it also statistically shows that even the recent one-hour time change can drastically throw off your “circadian rhythm,” ultimately leading to increased mental health issues.
“I always get sad in winter” is a statement impending the manifestation and expectation that this is who I am.
But here is where I can flip the script.
With this self-realization, I can rewrite my “story.”
Instead of, “I always get sad in winter,” I can now replace it with a new exciting story. I don’t need to hold onto this self-labeled concept for false security. I replace it with an affirmation that allows me to grow and reinvent my life for greater happiness.
“I am going to enjoy winter and flourish in the new season.”
“I am adaptive and in charge of how I feel, and today I choose peace.”
Instead of falling into my depression routine, I have to switch up the routine and match the energy of what I want my life to be. I set the goal to be healthier mentally and physically. I know that by empowering myself to be the healthiest version of myself, I will be more productive, creative, and satisfied with life.
I am working out every day. I am more mindful of my food in an effort to match the healthy energy I want to feel. I am excited about winter because I planned some ski trips and bought a fancy ski pass on my credit card (okay not financially the smartest, but the focus here is mental health).
And just two weeks after one of the darker days I’ve had in a while caused by self-sabotage, I am sharing that I feel revitalized, focused, and actually better than usual. I am feeling inspired, creative, and motivated.
It’s ironic how doing things that the health professionals say about depression are shaping up to be true; like that exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression or that diet and depression are related. I mean science has only told us that working out improves your mood by releasing endorphins and other neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. But it’s not always that simple, is it?
“I am the one who writes my stories.”
Ultimately, I am the only one who can control how I feel. I am the only one who can choose my actions. I am the only one who can stop making excuses for myself and change my own behavior.
I am usually a pretty private person and this type of introspective analysis is usually shared only with the pages of my journal. However, lately, I have seen and heard a lot of mental health struggles and personal stories that relate to mine, so I felt inspired enough to share my self-growth on my new blog – lacywanderlust.com.
I plan to continue to create and share on this outlet. I have been working on a travel-focused YouTube channel that I will share on here soon too. As my self-growth continues on with affirmations like, “I am creative,” I hope to indulge in my passions and be unapologetically empowering my own self-development to be the best version of myself.
I am not perfect. My projects aren’t perfect, but I am actively working towards my goals of who I want to be every day, and if you have made it to the end of reading this post, then stay tuned for more of my creative waves and growth to come.
XO -Lace Creates