I shared the above photo on Instagram as the “This is also me” FMSPaD prompt on 31st January 2021. It was a pairing with the more optimistic photo of me shared on the 1st January, both can be seen on my Photo-a-day Collection for January 2021. I also shared it in the FMSPad Facebook group, saying specifically at the start that I was absolutely fine. That was/is true, but there has been an underlying struggle to the start of this year: I feel I have lost my mojo, my motivation, and all I really want to do is hibernate (I’m sure there is a bear somewhere in my family tree). There was a lot of support from the people in the Facebook group, which is one of the reasons I love it: it is one of a few places of niceness and community on social media. There was also a lot of people who knew what I was going through. This year feels harder as we are back in Lockdown and the weather is a typical British Winter.
I always find it hard to be motivated during the darker months of the year. The long nights, and damp grey days feel like they drag, especially once the lights of Christmas are packed up and put away. There is a so-called “Blue Monday” on the third Monday of January. This has, apparently, been identified as being the most depressing days of the year. Although it should be taken with a very large pinch of salt as it is really just a gimmick. You can feel really down at any time, but having something like “Blue Monday” prompts the discussion about how you are feeling, which can’t hurt.
So this year, on top of my normal seasonal melacholy, I am feeling very despondent with the fixation that the Covid Vaccine is “the answer” and we’ll all be back to normal. My brain does celebrate the wonderful news of many vaccines, but in the UK the joy is about the vaccine being given to those most likely to die, but that doesn’t mean those of us who don’t fall into those groups won’t still be catching the illness. We also have no idea whether the vaccinated will be carriers, or how long the immunity lasts, all of which means that this year won’t be the end of it all. Yes, a milestone will be reached and it is an important one, but the race is not over: I don’t really see an end to this until mid 2022 as then we’ll have real world information about how the virus responds to the vaccine and also we will have gone through a whole winter with a vaccinated population. My work as a Myofascial Release Therapist and Sports & Remedial Massage Therapist means that I will still need to be very clinical in my cleanliness, which is not a bad thing, but it adds a stress to the whole of my working day (Have I aired the room properly? Have I disinfected the room completely? Have I washed my hands thoroughly? Did I put my mask on with clean hands?) and that is completely draining.
I am also despondent over the Brexit situation that is finally here, so visits to Europe are going to be more difficult, that we are already seeing signs that Brexit is going to impact trade (and that’s even with a reduced volume of trade due to the Lockdown) but I don’t want to give too much focus to that here. But I’m finding the tub-thumping Brexiter nationalists who don’t see that they have caused this chaos, and so don’t take any responsibility, to be particularly irksome. I love the United Kingdom and would say I’m a patriot, but I had always felt that I was also a proud European (I no longer feel that way due to the Brexit fiasco).
I also loathe the fact that we have been forced to online teaching and learning. As a student I find it very difficulat to focus on videos and webinars, and I feel so sorry for all of the children who are forced to learn like this. I am only doing it for “fun” and my continuing personal development, but having to use a medium that does not excite me makes it that much harder (and having done an introduction to teaching methodology last year I am more aware of learning styles, and online really isn’t mine). I also really do not like the whole teaching and remote working with clients, it really is not me: I am a hands on therapist and that is what I want to do. I know that I that I have a deep dislike of using the phone and technology to carry my voice, and I have a deep seated hatred of hearing my recorded voice (even doing the microphone test for a zoom call is horrible). So whilst I am teaching SMFRTherapy Classes online, and also will conduct one to one sessions with clients, they are not my preferred way of doing it.
I also feel like technology really does fail on me just when I need it. The photo above was taken whilst I was trying to calm down after my beloved laptop died completely on me 30 minutes before I was taking part in a week long intensive SMFRTherapy (16 hours of self work) and I had to rush around setting up the phone, and speakers and other bits, when what I wanted to do was to get myself ready. Bluetooth is another bane of my life.
So what am I doing to get out of this funk?
Well, I’ve been working to find a routine that means I get out and into the daylight (sunshine preferrably) to help combat the possible Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD). So I’m back to regular visits to the Wetlands, which is wondeful, but slightly weather dependent.
I tried going for a run, but my body is still broken and I am back to the drawing board on what is going on, and what I feel like I want to do to exercise.
I’m trying to give myself time to read, and not always for work, which has been good.
I’m actually writing this blog and searching for inspiration for new blogs, and finishing off others.
One of the things many in the forum mentioned is a SAD lamp, I have one and gave it a try last year, but really not sure it did anything for me. However, could I find it this year? Nope, and I’ve been turning the house upside down looking for it.
Ultimately, I know that this funk will pass as we move from the dark depths of winter, and move towards spring, so really all I need to do is hold on. These things do pass, that emotions are like clouds in front of the sun and that the weather never stands still. I will survive, and the world will continue to turn.
I know that this is not a wonderfully upbeat post, but if it helps one person realise that they are not on their own, then I feel like it has served its purpose. And to be honest getting the feelings out of my head, well that has helped me too.
Thanks for reading this my lovely Interonauts.