Preparing for a Long, Dark Winter

My clinical depression met my covid depression earlier this year and now covid depression is preparing to meet my seasonal depression. My clinical depression and seasonal depression know one another quite well but covid depression is the annoying third-wheel.

With all three of these depressions mixing and mingling and the days getting shorter, I have no idea what the long, dark winter will bring. Covid cases have increased in Winnipeg and further restrictions will likely be announced today. I am filled with anxiety over it all.

I am stocked up on vitamin D, put my happy lamp to use in the afternoons, and take my antidepressant medication daily. I have given myself little food-based flavour challenges to help eat well. I’ve switched out cows milk for oat and coconut and I am experimenting with smoothie flavours. I made fresh pineapple, coconut milk, cookies and cream protein powder, and yogurt today. It was amazing!

I have been working through the Mental Health Virtual Therapy CBT program that the Province of Manitoba and Morneau Shepell. I think Morneau Shepell is based in Ontario but the counsellor assigned to me is in Winnipeg. We talked about BDI ice cream during my intake session.

The counsellor and I text back and forth on the AbilitiCBT app and I work through a module each week. For me, this form of therapy works well for CBT and right now, I don’t feel the need to talk to someone, I just want to continue learning skills that can help me.

  • Week one: Welcome to AbilitiCBT
  • Week two: Understanding Your Symptoms
  • Week three: Foundational Skills for Self Care
  • Week four: Making Sense of a Pandemic

Week four is where I am. I texted the counsellor back but I haven’t opened the module yet. I am sure this module will be fairly helpful considering the restrictions likely being announced today.

I hope that I will be able to continue leading Happy Trails and some Adventure Women snowshoe hikes. I feel safer outside with a small group of womxn while socially distancing than I do going to grocery stores. Covid is a respiratory virus and I am asthmatic which puts me at a higher-risk of complications if I get it. I am so conflicted.

Happy Trail walks are good motivation for me to get movement in during the week after sitting at a computer all day plus I am spending time with like-minded womxn. We literally just walk and talk and it is pretty darn fun and good for my mental and physical health.

If I have learned anything from history, it is that plans don’t always work out. It is inevitable that something that is outside of my control will come flying in, like looking both ways before crossing the street and then getting hit by an airplane. Welcome to life and 2020, where anything is possible.

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