November is a hard time of year for many people. And, I’m one of those people. The plunge into shorter days, the loss of bright colors in the part of the world I occupy, the amping up of the media onslaught about the American version of the Christmas season (spend, spend, spend) all conspire to pull me down. The noises in my head are dirges. A steady thrum of mourning. My energy level drops. I’m in a constant battle with the chemicals in my brain, and it can feel like all hell’s breaking loose in my grey matter.
I don’t sleep well, I have difficulty focusing and completing tasks and I’m always tired. My arthritis goes into overdrive which can easily lead to an extended pity party. And now, let’s add in the fear factor in the world following recent events in Paris, Baghdad, Beirut, Kenya. Regular readers of Pamwrites already know that I have adored Paris for a long time. It’s fair to call me a francophile. So, it’s not surprising that my Facebook feed erupted with comments, articles, photos, news blips, etc. when the attacks in Paris happened and in the coming days. And, when my energy level and focus are down, the easiest thing of all for me to do (because reading is challenging when my focus is shot) is to spend far too much time on Facebook. So, then, I see shaming and blaming and finger-pointing all over my feed. There are people who are pissed that so many in the western world are only concerned about Paris and no other cities’ issues. I have friends on both extremes of the U.S. political spectrum so let’s just say, people have forgotten things they learned in kindergarten about being nice.
Ah, what’s a wanna-be-optimist to do when the November noises are pulling her down? Well, I keep doing everything I know I need to do to try to fight off the cesspool of depression. I keep eating right, exercising, using my lightbox and taking my anti-depressants. And sometimes, doing all that isn’t quite enough, so what’s next? I’m going to have to limit my Facebook time whether or not my focus is shot. Clearly spending too much time there is only hurting me, not helping. But what else? What else? I tend to spend a lot of time in quiet, which I need, but right now, I think I need more music. More uplifting music. And, I need to let Rachel Platten‘s Fight Song be my mantra these days.
If you, or someone you know, is fighting the downward tug of these November days, maybe find some music to lift spirits. My absolute favorite right now is from The Piano Guys and combines The Fight Song with Amazing Grace, as well as the glorious setting of Scotland. Be transfixed and uplifted. Give it a few moments and then move on with your day, hopefully feeling better!