Apparently last Monday, January 18th was blue monday, the most depressing day of the year.
It’s all pseudoscience based on an algorithm that takes into account the distance from Christmas, the amount of daylight, the number of broken resolutions and some other stuff. I guess it’s been a thing for a while but it received lots of attention on the news over here this year because, well, because of the year we’ve had.
While blue monday is silly and not a thing, it did bring attention to Seasonal Affective Disorder (often known as the winter blues), which absolutely is a thing and something I’ve dealt with ever since moving to Ireland. Dublin winters are cruelly dark. And this year has been worse as we are in our third wave of covid. We’ve had daily case numbers in the thousands for the past several weeks, the vaccine rollout is achingly slow, and it was just announced today that we are looking at another six months of strict lockdown. That’s enough to make anyone blue.
An expert I saw on the news suggested that’s if you are feeling blue, it might help to write down what you are missing during lockdown – don’t ignore what you long for, acknowledge it. And that did get me thinking about what I’ve really missed during this year of covid.
- Obviously I miss my family back in Buffalo. It’s been over a year since I was last there and I hate it.
- I miss travel. I’m normally someone whose suitcase is always in some state of being packed or unpacked.
- I haven’t had an actual holiday since November 2018 – I could really use one.
- I miss the various industry events I normally travel to. Not only are these events good for me professionally but they are a chance to unwind and have fun with others in my industry, many of whom I only see at these events.
- I miss going into the office/studio. I’ve worked from home at various points in my career and I take quite well to it. But I miss my colleagues and the collaboration that goes with being in the same place.
- I miss my friends. Friends here in Ireland, friends in Paris, friends in LA, friends in Buffalo – I haven’t seen most of them in far too long.
- I miss pubs. Pubs are a way of life here in Ireland. I miss going for a pint after work on a Friday. I miss randomly meeting up with friends on a whim. I miss nipping into my local on my own for a glass of wine.
- I miss Paris.
And now, when I think of these things, I am trying to think of them with hope rather than sadness. Easier said than done sometimes, but actually acknowledging what I am missing is helping to make my winter blues slightly less blue.
If you are really having a hard time this winter or if you suffer from clinical depression, which is a serious and deadly disease, please do seek help. Here in Ireland there are several supports and services that can be found here: https://www2.hse.ie/services/mental-health-supports-and-services-during-coronavirus/
Things will get brighter I know. For me. For you. For all of us.