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I AM Resilient

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), known as winter depression or other mood changes due to the holidays can be difficult for everyone this time of the year. Whether having a continuous battle with mental illness or not. Many people experience a serious mood change when the season changes. Holidays can also affect people's mood by having them focus on "lack." Lack of love, lack of family interaction, lack of money, or lack of receiving. It's important we recognize these signs for ourselves and others not only for the holidays, but everyday.

Recently, I dealt with a mood change due to seasonal affective disorder. I'm not sure if this is something I dealt with in the past, because I wasn't as self aware due to my ongoing battle with depression. This time around I definitely could tell a change in my mood when fall/winter came around and it was getting dark earlier. Emotionally I wasn't affected, but physically and mentally to a degree I was. I started having a difficult time going to the gym and maintaining my physical fitness. I absolutely had no motivation or energy to go to gym. I started to gradually decrease my time in the gym and lessen the days I would go. Normally, I would go to the gym 5-6 days a week, but then that turned into 2-3 days a week and ultimately no days at all.

Thanksgiving and my birthday came around in a 7 day span, so I was definitely indulging in more food and sweets than usual. With that and me not working out, naturally I gained a "couple" pounds lol. Already being aware of my lack of gym time, I became aware of the bulkiness to my body appearance lol.

I can laugh about this now, but in the past while dealing with my depression it would be a stressful situation for me. Although, I cant recall if I have gone through this before during the changing of the seasons to fall/winter. I have definitely gone through up and down times of not being motivated causing me to fall off going to the gym, affecting my physical fitness. During those times, I would be depressed about my life and the lack I would see or create in my mind. I would beat myself up for not going to the gym, gaining or losing weight, changes in my body, etc. I would hop on social media and compare myself to people I followed that were in the gym everyday. The words can't even describe the feelings and damage I was causing to myself. I was abusing myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

What I learned from the years of on again off again physical fitness is to just "Flow" with it. From years of depression I know how insulting that can sound because depression is a disease filled with tons of emotions controlled by your mind that affect your habits. This time around I knew my mood was affected and I knew why. I knew I wanted to go to the gym and workout, but I wasn't motivated. I knew beating myself up and comparing myself to others would take me further away from the gym. I knew I couldn't and shouldn't fight the feelings because I wouldn't let them go. I knew I had to just flow with the feelings because it wouldn't last forever.

I decided to put a greater focus on making sure I kept building my emotions and strengthening my mental. So, I continued my routine of daily affirmations, meditation, prayer, and gratitude. Eventually, I knew my drive to get back in the gym would come and after almost 2 months not going to the gym, I finally made it.

We all have difficult moments in life where we fall off the wagon, so to speak. The most important thing to remember is that.........IT WILL PASS! Just "Flow" with it, let the feelings pass by. They are just visiting for a little while, don't make them a roommate! Take this time to love yourself more, not make yourself an enemy. You're your biggest supporter! You Are Resilient! I AM Resilient!

Happy Holidays! Blessings,

Derek M. Silver


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