Fatigue and pain happen with anxiety and depression. As anxiety and depression increase with seasonal weather changes, less sun and shorter days, the exhaustion and hurts go up too. For me, this tends to show up in backaches that become more distracting as the day progresses and my energy fades. It seems like the time change arrives and I can manage half as much as I normally can. Sometimes, this is even literal. There is an invisible line on the kitchen floor marking where I swept to and where I had to stop. My kitchen isn’t even that big, yet right now, I have the fortitude for about two thirds of it. The counter isn’t ever fully clear during these winter months, because I’m emotionally worn out after loading the dishwasher. Whatever didn’t fit in the washer waits until the next day. Clothes get folded, but never put away. When days are rainy and dark, clothes are lucky just to be washed. Even the shower I just took felt like work. Exercise helps immensely, but the endorphins only last for so long. The ouchies return and I’m tired. Even after sleeping, I’m tired. I’m not as patient with myself as I should be, but I’m better than I once was. I’ve learned that shortcuts aren’t cheating but winning at this game of existing in a body I don’t yet understand and may never. I used canned potatoes tonight, because there is no peeling or cutting involved. With some canned gravy and cream of chicken soup, I made a sauce to cook chicken in the instant pot. I would have used canned green beans if I didn’t have fresh beans that needed to be used. As I was standing and clipping the ends of the beans with my back angry with me for this added effort, I wondered why I had bought them at all. I’ll get two more pairs of scissors for our kitchen drawer. Next time, I’ll bring in some extra hands. My back will hurt regardless, but at least I’ll be in good company and the work won’t last quite as long.