15 Ways To Fight Seasonal Depression

in , by The Classic Brunette, 7:17:00 AM
It's that time of year folks! The most wonderful time of the year (Thanksgiving! Christmas! New Year!) can also come with some unfortunate feelings as well. That's right, I'm talking about seasonal depression. STAY WITH ME FOR A SEC, this post is NOT going to get mopey or sad or anything that will put you into an emotional state. We're going to focus on all things happy and how you can keep up that happiness throughout these next few months. If you aren't sure what Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is, I'll let you google that right now....

For those that are lazy and want the VERY short version, it's when some people react negatively and show signs of depression during the fall and winter. Now that that's out of the way, let's move on to the 15 ways to try to avoid those depression moods!

1. Buy a daytime/light therapy lamp

'Natural' light is very important for our bodies as it is linked to better moods and sleep. If you're inside most of the day or you're in a location where the sun doesn't come out often, light therapy may be beneficial for you! As I'm not anything close to a doctor, please do your own research before just taking my advice on things! (This goes for all the things I write about here! I do research, but I also mostly go off of personal experience.)

2. Spend some time outside

I would have put this one first, but let's be realistic; most people don't have a lot of free time to spend outside in the daylight. Many people work the traditional 9-5 job and simply don't have the luxury to get the amount of vitamin d/natural light that people need. But, if you are lucky enough to have a flexible schedule, try to put in some outside time when it's bright out!

3. Visit a therapist

If you're worried about your mood and if you could possibly have SAD, talk with your doctor or reach out directly to a therapist so you can discuss it with a professional. There are many types of therapy, so don't be afraid to try out a few different ways/therapist until one clicks with you! Even if you just have one or two visits to discuss SAD and how you personally can combat it.

4. Make time for friends and family

Make time for them AND follow through with those plans!!! I know that when I'm in my moods I tend to push people away, but that won't help the situation. Once I spend time with the people I love I can count on them to at least cheer me up a little. So make sure to reach out to those people you like to spend time with even when your mind is telling you that you really don't want to. Start with once a week and move up from there. If you're more introverted like me a normal amount of social time is around 3-4 events/activities a week.

5. Clean up regularly

I've said this before and I'll say it again, once you decide to give into the mess it becomes harder to get yourself out of it! Give yourself 10 minutes a day just to get the basics done (laundry off the floor, dishes in the sink, etc) and it will help you stay out of the depression funk.

6. Seek out fun local activities

Summer isn't the only time when there are fun community activities going on! Check out your local farmer's market, museums, holiday expos and more. You're guaranteed to have some type of event near your town that will be a way to break your work/home cycle. Even better, go with some friends!

7. Keep cozy things nearby for comfort

If you're like me and are all about the indoors, give in to the comfort when you're off the clock. Curl up in a fuzzy blanket, light a soothing candle, and pop in a favorite DVD. (Do I sound old when I say that? Do the kiddos even know about DVDs anymore?😂)

8. Consider medication

(Let's remember that thing I said about consulting with your medical professional here!) Some people do well with going on antidepressants for a few months. If this is something you are curious about do some research and ask your doctor if they think it will be helpful in warding off those depression symptoms.

9. Find something to care for

You know your own self best, so please consider all pros and cons before adopting pets! In my experience, adopting Henry and then Nina has helped with my depression and anxiety tremendously. Even on the hardest days I still have them to show love to and care for. So if you know you would be a good pet parent (once again, remember those pros and cons, folks!) go adopt! If you don't think you're there yet maybe try volunteering at an animal shelter. Or if you want something with even less commitment you can buy a plant or two!

10. Stick to a schedule

More specifically, stick to a sleep schedule. Your body and your mood will thank you for being consistent.

11. Plan a getaway somewhere warm

Make plans to go somewhere warm during the fall/winter as a reminder that the freezing temps won't last forever! You can be surprised how much a weekend away can improve your mood if you treat it as a little therapy time. Warm up, relax, and focus on all the happy things to come!

12. Do one thing per day that makes you happy

It seems obvious, but more often than not I forget to think about something I want to do not something I have to do. Even though I love my job, it's still my job. I try to take a half hour of me time every day. Sometimes it's me listening to the same three songs on repeat, watching an episode of a tv show I'm interested in, or even grabbing Starbucks. #SorryI'mBasic

13. Cook your favorite meal

We all know homemade food tastes better, so try making your favorite meal to cheer you up. It will keep you busy and will (hopefully) turn out great! If you really don't want to try cooking, then hey, I won't shame you for ordering takeout.

14. Write out your thoughts

Another thing I've mentioned in past posts, journaling! I've always found it great to get out all my thoughts for the day on paper. Whether you choose to keep these writings to yourself, share with a close friend, or even share with your therapist, it could be helpful. Writing out your feelings can help you understand them more, and can help you learn for the future.

15. Add thirty minutes of exercise per day

Now you might be a person who already exercises multiple times a week, this advice isn't for you. This is for the person who really doesn't do much and NEEDs that extra bump of serotonin and endorphins during the week! So if you're like me and exercise kind of falls on the back burner of things, go ahead and work on changing that. Even if you're starting at half an hour once a week, it's still more than nothing!

Hopefully these tips will help you ease yourself or a friend in need out of the seasonal depression dumps. It's a difficult place to be, but if you work on it day by day you will really see a change!
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