Fighting Seasonal Depression
One thing I have become very open about over the last few years is my struggle with seasonal depression. Living in Michigan where it's colder weather and grey nearly 9 months out of the year - it gets very depressing very quickly. My ultimate goal would be to relocate to the south, but that's easier said than done with jobs, our home, etc. So in the meantime, I've spent a lot of time looking up ways to assist my seasonal depression so it's more manageable. I'm by no means perfect, but I'm wanting to be open about my struggles as I know many suffer from this & I'd love to be of help in anyway to those who suffer the same issue!
PSA: These tips I'm sharing are things that have worked for me, but may not be significant enough for someone else. If you are struggling deeply with depression of any kind please consult with your doctor or never be afraid to reach out to a loved one for guidance or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for professional assistance.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
Tips for Fighting Seasonal Depression
I cannot emphasize enough how important & how much of an impact that vitamins can have! I personally have an immediate difference when I forget to take my B12 & Vitamin C - both of them give natural energy & are very mood boosting for me! Of course always consult with your doctor before taking anything!
//Reading & Writing
All growing up I used to love to read, write & do a lot of journaling, but as I've gotten older I've fallen away from my old hobbies & now I'm working to get back to them. I try to put down my phone at night & write a little & ready a chapter or two from a book. Something about getting my thoughts down & reading into another persons life is a form of escape that I truly enjoy! It's a massive mental break. It seems like such a simple task, but when the day winds down & I'm in bed - I find myself scrolling through social media apps comparing my life to others before ending the day & that's not healthy at all. Books are easy to find for me - I love me a good romance novel. As for writing - I find myself a little weird about just freely journaling so instead I've purchased writing prompt booklets from places like 5 Below, Amazon, etc. that give me topics to write about & be expressive versus feeling lost on what to write about.
I always tell myself I'm going to get more organized, but never actually do. Well this year I've held myself accountable & so far I've successfully cleaned out & organized two junk drawers, our fridge & a kitchen cabinet full of unused dishes & mountains of Tupperware. The freeing feeling of getting rid of the clutter is an instant mood changer! I take it slow too! Rome wasn't built in a day & your whole home isn't going to be organized super quickly either! Instead I've committed myself to completing one area a week! A goal that is achievable so when I complete the task not only am I happy the space is organized, but I'm happy I achieved my weekly goal that was set to obtainable.
//You have to make it cozy
What I hate the most about the winter season is the constant darkness! It's dark when I get to work & it's dark when I come home - it's depressing AF. So when I get home to lift my spirits I turn on a few cozy lamps in our bedroom, light a few candles & try to elevate my mood with some cozy lighting glow. This way I don't go too bed to early because my body associates dark with bed time.
So a few new things I'm still in the process of trying is a starry night nightlight in my bedroom - it's a little pricey, but you simply plug it before bed & the night time sky is on your ceiling. It's cozy & just feels like you're sleeping outside! I love it! I also have purchased a Therapy Lamp a lamp that gives off sunshine like light and it designed to assist those with light therapy that suffer from seasonal depression! I'm going to use it for a moment & then will report back if it's worth it or not! But fun products - if your budget allows for it - are good to try if your current methods for fighting seasonal depression aren't working
//Learning to embrace the winter instead of hating it
One thing I do admit is that my attitude towards the season definitely doesn't help my seasonal depression. The last few years I've really worked to try & embrace the season & activities available instead of just hating it & fighting it. So how do I do that? I simply get bundled up and go for a winter walk. Is it cold? Yup it sure is, but the light exercise & fresh air does wonders for me! I go wander local parks & I've even started taking my 30 min break at work & walking around our local downtown area admiring all the beautiful old homes bundled up with a hot tea! If you wear enough layers - within 5 mins you barley even notice the cold!
One thing that elevates my mood all year around is having real plants in our home all year around! We have a real plant in every room & I do feel a mood boost since getting them. During Christmas time I put them all in one area to make room for Christmas decor & it sounds crazy, but I noticed a significant difference in my mood and the air became stale in some of the rooms. And if you don't think you're capable of being a plant parent - don't worry - I've kept nearly 4 plants alive for almost a year now! Something I truly never though I would be capable of!
//Invest in yourself
This method is more on the luxury scale, but if you have the financial means - get your hair done, a massage, facial or whatever it is to make you feel better! Sometimes we need that boost of confidence!
I know all of these tips are things you've probably heard before & I'll be honest - they're tips I heard & never tried because I thought surely none of that's going to fix my Seasonal Depression. I stuck my nose up and said a beach vacation or nothing at all, but that's not practical so I decided to try them & was surprised at the success! So to anyone who is reading this & has heard these tips before - TRY THEM. There's a reason so many recommend these - it's because they truly do work!! Thanks for reading!
Mrs. Northern Belle