While winters are typically harder than most seasons, this one is going to be particularly rough.
The days are getting darker and colder as this really challenging year comes to an end. Although I'm excited to ring in a new year, I'm disappointed that I can't go out as much now especially when my outdoor time has been so key to helping me stay positive.
Now that I'm going to be cooped up inside more I'm also thinking about the holidays around the corner. Things are so up in the air right now I don't really know what's going on.
Zoom family gatherings? When will I get to see my family members again? — without my daily walks I can see this line of thought taking over and the stress adding up.
Winter however is only just beginning and I want to get ahead and start a new routine that would keep balanced. I knew a big part would be having someone to talk through this difficult season with and although my family and friends are there for me to talk to, they all have their own stuff going on and I didn't want them to feel burdened. But being home so much would definitely leave me feeling lonely and isolated.
This led me to find Talkspace: an online platform that connects you to a licensed therapist. They're providers help with everything from depression and anxiety, to parenting and mood disorders. But most of all Talkspace is exactly that — a space to talk.
The way I get through most things is by talking it out and with Talkspace, it's simple, professional, and accessible. I started by making an account and answering a few questions, then I was given a list of recommended therapists and chose the best fit for me.
I set up a weekly video session and so far it's been great. My therapist is helping me deal both with the effects the colder season has on me and just my general mood and worries.
It's great getting the help that I need right from home. I never thought therapy would be for me but with Talkspace, it feels different. I'm comfortable in the environment I'm in (no weird offices) and the online tools are amazing. Their dashboard lets me track my clinical progress, follow my therapy journey, and lets me reach out 24/7.
Their services are subscription-based and covered by a lot of insurance companies so I'm not spending a lot out of pocket. Plans start as low as $260 a month and you get unlimited text, video, and audio messaging with therapists 5 days a week.
I'm so glad I decided to join Talkspace this winter and now that I've been able to talk through some of my stresses I've been able to unwind in other ways.
Now, that I'm inside more I don't want to get sucked back into binge-watching the latest Netflix releases. I've decided to get back in the habit of reading again, which I used to do all time as a kid. Picking up a book gives my eyes a rest from all the screen time throughout the day and lets me really use my imagination again. No better time than winter to reread all of Harry Potter (...for the third, or fourth, or fifth time)
Reading has been a great way to end my days but I'm also finding that getting into cooking is helping on these cold nights. Every other day I choose a new recipe to try and just go for it! My meals are more balanced, nutritious, and have me feeling so accomplished — it truly is brightening my mood!
Winter is coming and the best thing I can do is make the changes I need now rather than later. Talkspace has been such a great way to keep me in the right headspace and now I really do feel like I can get by the next few months. I can talk through my worries and holiday woes and know that it'll be alright with the help of mental health professionals.
I'm looking forward to the rest of my cozy winter, snuggled up with a book, and eating my latest culinary creation.