The Humans are Suffering

February Blues + Pandemic = SUFFERING

Some of my clients report sliding into low moods these days. It is a helpless feeling to witness it at times as it just feels like so many people are struggling to make it through a pandemic winter. It’s as if they are trying to walk up a hill that is coated in cooking oil. Everything feels hard and bleak. Even hopeful signs are mired in confusion; “great, we’re getting vaccinated!…when??”, “kids are going back to school…to what kinds of situations??”

The humans are suffering. Winter can be hard for those who are seasonally affected by the cold and shorter days, but add to that the difficulty with safe outdoor social contact and outdoor exercise? The moods are slipping and sliding down the hill!

I’ve felt grateful to have planned a vacation next week for my own sake! I’ve compared notes with other mental health workers too who are growing fatigued as the swollen caseloads and pandemic fatigue are hitting hard now in the weeks before spring emerges. We all need to be very serious about self-care.

What can we do about it? I have some ideas for how we can come together, hold each other up, and just hang on for a bit longer.

  • Make time to call a friend this week. Perhaps don’t use Zoom – Zoom doom is big right now too – just call someone that you love to encourage them. I’ve done this twice in the last week and my mood lifted right away!
  • Be kind to yourself about how much you might be struggling. We are in unprecedented times with this many months of global difficulty paired with winter. It makes sense that you are suffering and it would be a bit strange if you weren’t impacted!
  • Vitamin D – figure out some way to get some sun on your skin most days. Consider getting your Vitamin D levels checked by your doctor. Low Vitamin D can contribute to low mood.
  • Plan something you can look forward to enjoying at some future date. I’m currently planning my husband’s Zoom birthday party and it is making me happy to have it out there. Some big percentage of the benefit of a vacation is looking forward to it.
  • If you have a mental health or healthcare worker in your life, do something nice for them. Chances are they are feeling the weight of their clients’ and patients’ struggles as they attempt to care for them.

Vaccines are happening

Spring is coming

We can help each other get to the other side

One comment


  • Kathleen Baldwin

    Thank you Janice, all of the above is spot on.
    I have observed February/March as the low point months in winter.for many folks (adults and teens) Low energy, low mood, the urge to “hibernate” now compounded by the difficulties and enormous changes of the past year.
    Planning events for the future is definitely on my radar as I try to hold up those around me. And, Easter is coming!

    March 1, 2021

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