When I first moved to NYC, I had a really hard time. I’d left the comfort of New England and old friends to live in a shoe box without really knowing anyone except for my roommate and some college friends. On top of it all, my relationship was in a rocky place, and I was really scared. So of course, I put in that age-old teary phone call to my parents, desperate for some guidance. This is when dad introduced a mindset to me that has saved me countless times:
“I know you’re really hurting right now, but as much as it might not feel like it, the sun will rise tomorrow, and when it does, you’ll feel better and stronger.”
And when to my surprise the sun did, in fact rise the next day, I was so comforted by this new opportunity to feel better. Slowly, after a few more sunrises, I was ok again.
One of the toughest parts about diabetes burnout and seasonal depression, is that it feels permanent. It feels like the misery you’re experiencing, or the frustration you’re stuck in is literally never, ever going to change. But the fact of the matter is, it will change. It has to.
And last winter, when I thought that I had become a perma-ball of anxiety it was hard to remind myself of this. But after a particularly bad pending low-induced panic attack, I had a moment of clarity: This has to stop eventually. There has to be another side to this madness. The sun has to rise tomorrow.
I knew this crying, scaredy cat hiding under the covers from a low wasn’t really me, because it wasn’t who I had always been. I knew in my heart that this was a phase. A chapter. A drop in the god damned bucket. It was something that had a clear beginning, middle, and somewhere, hopefully around the corner, there would be an end.
To find the strength to convince myself that this was a phase, I clung to a handful of affirmations, quotes and mantras – this one 👇 being numero uno.
I recited them to myself in the shower, I doodled them in my notebook at work. I whispered them to myself during takeoff and landing on airplanes, and whenever the train stalled on the subway. I said them to myself in the mirror, and on the bike. And, with time, this gave me the momentum to stop thinking about getting out of this phase, and actually spring into action to get some shit done. I started seeing a therapist, I was more honest with my parents about what was going on, I committed to things that helped distract me from my anger towards my diabetes and depression, I started being nicer to myself, and sloooowly but surely, that gross chapter came to a close.
Obviously our diabetes is never going to go away (well, maybe someday). But reciting an empowering or hopeful affirmation to ourselves every single day – something you can pray to, practice gratitude for, or even emotionally sit on to meditate with, seriously helps alleviate the heaviness and suspected permanence of a bad bout of burnout.
Give it a try, and let me know how you feel. I can almost promise you, your answer will be: hopeful.
To find your mantra/affirmation, or build a bank of them yourself, check out this Pinterest board that I put together for some inspiration.
Until the 15th, I’m doing a daily post with a different way to combat burnout and seasonal depression. But this is a 2-way street! I want to know how you all manage your burnouts or seasonal depression, so tag your photos and help inspire others by using the hashtag #GimmeSomeSugarChallenge.
Check out my Instagram for more, and stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about making yourself a nest.
photo credit: unsplash-logoHeather Schwartz