The last few months have been interesting on a personal level. A few ups and downs for sure. Recently it dawn on me that I was feeling quite blue (yes like depressed) and I couldn’t pin point why.
I could blame it on hormones for sure but as I kept thinking about this time of the year I realized it could be an acute case of the End of the year blues!
For some reason in the past I’ve been prone to make a new years resolution list.. OH YES the dreaded list. And things have been so different as what I envisioned for me at this time of my life that I realized
Why are you keeping score?
So my research started and I found a great article that I will quote from below called: New Year’s Blues – Does the end of the year get you down?
“The media goes over and over what happened this year,” she says. So it’s understandable, to some degree, that many of us do, too.
Soon after the year-in-review shows comes talk about New Year’s resolutions— and any talk about making resolutions invariably means focusing on your shortcomings, says Edward Abramson, PhD, professor of psychology emeritus at California State University Chico and author of Body Intelligence and Emotional Eating.
In her research, Nolen-Hoeksema has focused on “ruminators.” She describes ruminators as those who go over and over their problems, either in their own mind or by discussing them with others, but have no clear plan to solve the issues. She has found:
- Those who ruminate also tend to have negative coping styles, criticize themselves unduly and be pessimistic. Ruminating and depression often go hand-in-hand.
- Recognizing when to stop ruminating is crucial. “Everyone ruminates some,” she says. The real difficulty arises, she says, when you realize all the thinking and rethinking about a problem or issue is not getting you anywhere or is making you feel worse — and still, you can’t quit. “People who get stuck in rumination think there is going to be insight by keeping on thinking about it,” she says. “They may have more trouble [than others] shifting their attention [to other topics].”
- Depression can make ruminating worse. If you are already in a depressed mood and get started on a rumination cycle, you’ll tend to focus on the worst aspects of a problem, she says. “Rumination and depression are a toxic mix.” The rumination feeds the depression and vice versa. The process is so reciprocal, says Nolen-Hoeksema, that it’s difficult to identify sometimes which started it all.
How to get out of the Blue mind stage:
- Anticipate. If you’ve been in this ruminating route before, make a plan to minimize it this year –before the end of the year arrives.
- Ask why, not “Why me?” When the rumination starts to surface, don’t dwell on your shortcomings. Instead, think a bit about why some things you wanted to happen this year didn’t.
- Shift into action. Instead of moaning or moping, ask yourself: “What is a small thing I can do to change the situation?”
- Get active or distract yourself. When you fall back into the ruminating habit, walk around the block, go to the gym, or head for the mall. Physical activity works, Nolen-Hoeksema says. “Within 10 minutes you are feeling better,” she says. “It’s hard to ruminate and shift to action at the same time.” Distraction works, too, she has found in her studies. When she asked some ruminators to think about something else other than the problem, they weren’t as adept later at recalling negative events as those who weren’t distracted from their ruminating.
- Be specific. If you decide to make a New Year’s resolution, be reasonable and decide exactly what you will do, Abramson says. “Not a global resolution about making yourself a wonderful person,” he says. Instead: “I won’t yell at the kids.” Or, instead of “I will lose 20 pounds,” try: “When I know they are having doughnuts at work, I will bring fruit instead.”
- Examine your expectations. Decide if they are realistic. If they aren’t, that doesn’t mean giving up on the goal, says Abramson. Instead, break it into multiple steps.”
Basically then my self diagnosis based on my best therapist advice “Doctor Google” is that I have a case of “ruminating” I wouldn’t say I am totally depressed. Actually I know I am not … In Spanish my diagnosis would be a case of FLOJERITIS meaning Mental Laziness. I am tired of thinking and without the drive to actually get up and get something done.
I did encounter a feeling of joy when I read the phrase:
Head to the Mall!!
My husband’s wallet won’t think the same but I believe the Dr. just ordered a big dose of SHOPPING for me
See ya later