Updated: Apr 23, 2022
At the time of writing this blog post, Valentine's Day has just passed. Comment down below about what kind of day you had. Surprisingly, my Valentine's Day was pretty peaceful, and I found that a few things I did helped me feel happy on National Single's Day. But now that many people have been on the high of Valentine's Day, it can be easy for the Winter Blues to slip in.
The winter blues is a time when you may fall into a sort of … depression. According to NIH researchers, the winter blues are named Seasonal Affective Disorder, otherwise known as SAD. I have dealt with the Winter Blues for quite a long time. Before I share with you guys some tips, I used to get through the winter blues. I want to encourage you with a short analogy about apple picking and dating to show you why many eligible Christian men and women are single.
God gave me this vision when I was brushing my teeth in the mirror, and I knew it would be an incredible resource for those who are feeling blue about being single. For this analogy, the apples represent single men and women, and the people picking the apples represent singles.
So, the analogy was in three parts. I want you to close your eyes and imagine a vast apple orchard.
As you know, orchards have many different apple trees and types all around.
The first archetype is the people who are dating casually. These people are always in relationships because they go into the apple orchard and pick any apple. They do not have any standards, and they want an apple. Because they are in an apple orchard, these people will always be picked (aka in relationships). Therefore, type three people can easily fall into a cycle of comparing themselves to these people in relationships and begin to feel inadequate. The problem that types one people have is that they will often be dissatisfied with the apples that they pick.
This brings me to the second relationship type (part 2). This person has a specific type of apple that they are looking for. However, these people get so overwhelmed with the types of apples offered that they get frustrated. Then, instead of grabbing the apples that they want, they get rid of their whole list and end up settling. Sometimes they will settle for another whole apple brand or choose unripe apples (this represents relationships where they feel that they have to "fix" the person or grow them up.) For example, they may want a golden delicious, but they choose a granny smith apples because of overwhelm.
And then, you have the third archetype of people. These people go into the apple orchard knowing precisely what kind of apple they want and when the apple is in season. Timing is important because the season of the apple will determine whether or not the apple is any good or if it will be bitter and cold. While the other two people did not pay attention to the timing of their relationships (aka apple picking), this person ensures that the apple type they want is in season. This archetype of people is very careful, and once they find the apple type that they want, they search through each tree, sorting out the ones that have broken skin or that are bruised. This process takes a long time, but because this person knows what they are looking for, they take their time and enjoy walking up and down the rows of apple trees. Another thing that separates this person from the other two is that they aren't willing to settle for less. So they will often be bolder in their pursuits.
Now, I have to ask you. Which one of these three-character archetypes do you think ends up finding the most fulfilling apple (aka person to be in a relationship with?) I can guarantee you that it's not apple picker one. Apple picker two might end up getting lucky and finding that they love the apple they chose. But more often than not, they end up resenting the apple they end up with because it was never what they wanted. The correct answer is picker number three. But the biggest thing is that number three had to be patient and wait, and waiting is hard.
How this is supposed to help you with winter blues
One of the best ways to deal with your emotions is to put a name on them. Feelings of loneliness and inadequacy often cause winter blues due to prolonged singleness. Maybe, like me, you have always been a single friend. And you may look around at the dating pool (aka the orchard of apples) and wonder why everyone you seem to have found their perfect picks except you. But the truth is, maybe you are on a different path than everyone else. Eventually, if you keep walking down the rows of apples, you will meet your perfect match. But in the meantime, knowing that you are feeling sad or lonely while single can help you continue to walk through the apple orchard with pride.
*If you love how the analogy made you feel, subscribe to my email list to order a copy of my book "Since when did Single Mean Sad?" The book is 30 days of journal prompts and exercises to help you on your journey of finding that perfect "apple."
Gabbie's winter blues survival guide
Once you understand your feelings around being single, it can be helpful to have some ways to deal with the results of your feelings. Here are five things that help me whenever I have the winter blues.
1. Get some time outside: I have been taking this fascinating class called Anatomy and physiology. In the class, we started studying Vitamin D. Many people don't know, but a lack of vitamin D can cause horrible depression and anxiety. Now, I do not know where I read this. But we learned that being outside for a certain amount of time can replace antidepressants completely. Great ways to get outside include exercise, walking, going to the gym, and even just going to sit outside.
2. Get professional help: In the African American community, it can be a little bit of a taboo subject to go and get professional help through therapy. However, the number one thing that changed my life was seeing a therapist. I now recommend this to everyone I meet.
3. Try natural supplements: I feel like I am one of the many antidepressants did not work for. I faced awful symptoms such as terrible constipation, feeling bad, increased anxiousness, and muscle cramps. So, recently I switched over to taking this natural supplement called Passionflower, and the results have been excellent. I take the pill once a day with meals, and it has helped me feel overall calmer. It has also helped me to
- sleep better
- Have more energy
- Decrease my number of panic and anxiety attacks
- Increase my comfort in social situations.
Other natural supplements you can take for anxiety include magnesium, vitamin D, and Omega 3's. I recommend you try these if the traditional antidepressants wreak havoc on your digestive system!
4. Spend time with God: God is supposed to be your first husband before any man. Thankfully, there are many ways that you can spend time with God. One of my favorite things to do is to journal. But I also love to meditate on the bible, listen to Christian podcasts and or YouTube channels and pray. I always notice that I feel much better when I spend more time with him.
5. Make a gratefulness journal: I often attend group therapy sessions, and one of our lessons was about gratefulness because it is impossible for gratefulness and depression to coexist. So, if you are feeling blue, try to make a list of what you are grateful for.
Overall, having the winter blues can be a real downer. However, there are certain things that you can do to feel less blue.
What was your favorite part of today's blog post? Sincerely,
Your pen pal friend,
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