Oh, seasonal depression, how I loathe when you come waltzing in during the early to late winter season. You indeed are a menace. But never fear! Momma Moon has you covered with ten tips that I’ve found helpful in beating seasonal depression.
1. Update Your Seasonal Wardrobe
We all have had at least one moment in our lives where changing our outfit made the most significant difference in our mood. When you dress for the right thing, be it an event, activity, or…you guessed it… weather, you can experience a whole different attitude and outlook. When you dress for warm weather and feel comfortable, you’ll find that dealing with the winter blues isn’t nearly as bad as when you aren’t appropriately covered and are freezing your you-know-what’s off!
2. Re-establish or Create a Daily Routine
Daily routines are essential. We may not always like them, but they are lifesavers when we fall into moments of uncertainty or chaos. Having a plan for your day and week can help to prepare you for a more productive outcome than when you “wing it.” This is even good for your weekend or off days. Instead of watching Grey’s Anatomy re-runs or that new Netflix series you swore you’d only watch one more episode of plan a day that feels productive to your needs and desires.
*Already dealing with depression? Use this Activity Planner from Webmd.com to help start towards a better recovery option.*
3. Incorporate Light Exposure Into Your Day Frequently
When you walk out into direct sunlight, you are getting more than an opportunity to get that sun-kissed tan, we all want. You are getting vitamin D, which not only prevents inflammation and lowers blood pressure, but it helps to improve overall brain function. Other forms of light exposure can also be helpful when fighting seasonal depression, depending on your location and availability to light exposure treatments. It would help if you always talked to your healthcare professional before taking part in any light exposure therapies.
4. Surround Yourself With Your Favorite Things
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens…sorry got carried away! But seriously, surrounding yourself with your favorite things can increase oxytocin release that is perfect for combatting seasonal depression or any form of depression for that matter! If you love animals and don’t have any, you could visit a shelter near you and volunteer to get your fluffy buddy fix. Love healing crystals? Buy like 100 of them on Amazon, and you are set. Just kidding…can’t do that, your wallet might get deprivation depression. Surround yourself with your favorite color, people, and things that bring you genuine joy. It is often most effective in those hard moments of seasonal depression
5. Make a Pick-Me-Up Playlist
Throw your hair back, check your nails, baby, how you feeling? I’m sure ten times better once you start finding yourself singing along to Lizzo! We often put on music that matches our mood and trust me when I say Papa Roach’s Scars or Jhene Aiko’s Sail Out album is not always the cure for what’s getting you down. Put on music that you can dance to or sing along too, and I promise you’ll start to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
6. Adjust your sleep schedule.
Sleep schedules are hard, especially when all you want to do is sleep the day away. Find a sleep schedule that enables you to re-charge your batteries but doesn’t encourage unnecessary time rolled up in your blankets like a little human burrito. Being a burrito is excellent, and all but being a burrito is no fun if you can’t share your awesomeness with the world. Set an alarm that you know will allow you time to get up without rushing and implement that sleep schedule in your daily routine that best supports your needs.
7. Plan Activities
Activities are fun for extroverts but not always for introverts, so this one should be taken with a grain of salt. Events don’t mean you need to go out and interact with 50 people but rather a focus on doing something specifically for an allotted amount of time that feels right for you. Please don’t overdo it as over-stimulation can lead to sensory overload, and that means we are counteracting our initial intention. Be strategic in planning your events and honest about which activities you say yes to when friends or family ask you to join.
8. Exercise and Eat Well
An apple a day and cardio can go a long way. When we exercise, we are boosting our energy and creating a routine. The same can be said for eating. If you are battling seasonal depression, don’t go for an all-out juice cleanse or fad diet but focus on eating 3 square meals a day. Binge eating typically happens when we face depression, and this can make us feel lethargic and run down. Find a healthy balance in incorporating both a vigorous exercise and food regimen.
9. Clean Your Living Space
When we live in clutter, we often feel stuck. We feel unorganized and out of place as there is naturally no real place for anything. Make time to maintain your living space. Making your bed can be a massive help in creating the feeling of a fresh start. Light some candles and straighten up that chair that has gathered up heaps of clothes, honey. Trust me; you’ll enjoy the feeling of cleanliness versus facing the messy room we’ve all seen a time or two.
10. Keep a Journal
Writing can be a huge relief and may also help you navigate feelings that you’re not prepared to acknowledge in your mind. There is something therapeutic when we put pen to paper and let the words flow without judgment—making it an excellent opportunity for you to look back and see your progress, stressors, and patterns. Understanding all of these things can help to move forward and gain closure that could be detrimental in your healing
The most important thing to remember here is that we are all humans, and we are all susceptible to feeling those seasonal blues. Almost like seasonal colds or cases of flu, we must find better ways to diagnose and treat instead of succumbing to our ailments. If we start by finding things that work for us, we can better prepare for the next time and help support others who experience it. Here’s hoping that this helped you develop some habits and tricks that will kick your seasonal depression in the butt!
If you find your depression to worsen over time please seek professional guidance and sources via https://www.nami.org/