How To Cope With Seasonal Depression When It Feels Like Everything Sucks
When the weather turns grey, the air gets colder and the excitement of summer wears down, in creeps reality. The vacation is over, you’re back to the grind and it’s pretty common for a lot of people to get swept away into a depressive state. It might seem like the easiest thing to do is to just hole up at home on the couch in your pajamas watching endless hours of Netflix, eating whatever your heart desires and avoiding the social interaction of the previous days of summer but stop yourself. The longer this continues, unfortunately, the worse you eventually feel.
If you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), it’s important to take extra good care of yourself to keep your mood lifted and avoid those dark emotional holes. I’ve had SAD since I was a little girl and there are some years where the pain I carry inside me is agonizing. This year, I’m taking extra precautions to get in front of the madness that tries to eat away at me.
Here are some tips to cope with your seasonal affective disorder when it feels like everything sucks:
It’s no myth that exercise even in small increments daily serves more than purpose than just to the health of your body- it’s also fantastic for your emotional well-being. The best part is that it doesn’t take much to make a significant improvement to your mood. A brisk walk everyday on your breaks at work, 15 minutes on a treadmill or even some yoga poses at home each and every day will release the necessary endorphins to your brain that triggers energy levels and overall emotional contentment.
Declutter that thing that needs decluttering.
Believe it or not but home clutter only adds to the problem so if you’re going to hole up at home anyways, take the time to tackle something in your home that’s in desperate need of a cleanup. Whether it’s organizing your closet, folding the pile of laundry that seems to never go away or finally going through all those bathroom products under the sink, decluttering the home helps to declutter your mind as well. Studies have shown that when there’s an abundance of clutter in your day to day life, it actually creates a clutter in your mind too. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a long list of chores all at once either- start with one thing at a time and chip away at it. You’ll feel more organized and more accomplished at the end of each task- trust me on this.
Get a SAD light or a Salt Lamp.
Simple light tricks in your home can work wonders and research has proven that both SAD lights and Himalayan Salt Lamps are incredible to help with improving mood. SAD lights are a little on the pricier side so if cost is an issue, you can pick up small salt lamps at a number of home stores or online starting in the range of between $10-20. Another perk about salt lamps is that they also have other major benefits to health issues such as allergies, asthma and anxiety disorders as outlined in this article.
Plan social activities.
Even if you don’t want to go out all the time, making some social plans (and actually following through with them) is important. Social interaction with coworkers just isn’t the same as going out with a friend or two and doing something fun together. Sometimes half the battle with SAD is just getting out of the house so if you can make it out at least once a week or every other week, not only does it give you something to look forward to but it also helps the fight against the emotional demons you’re battling inside.
Talk to someone.
If things start to feel extremely difficult and you’re truly having a hard time restoring your mood and energy levels, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for support. If counselling isn’t your thing, find a trusted friend or family member to talk to about how you’re feeling. Sometimes just venting it out into open air can make you feel a lot better and knowing you have people who love you and care about your emotional well-being helps to make you feel less alone in what you’re going through.
Take up a new hobby or get back into an old one.
SAD can make you feel a loss of enjoyment in the routine of your life. Taking up a new hobby or getting back into something you used to love to do can distract you from self-sabotaging thoughts and directs your energy towards more positive things.
Nothing can completely take away SAD and for many people, it’s something that floats through our lives when the weather turns dreary but that’s the thing- it’s just floating through and it won’t last forever. Depression spells are extremely debilitating and can make you feel like you’d rather just crawl into a hole and hide but taking small steps each and every day can make a world of a difference. Remember that it won’t happen overnight but if you keep taking those baby steps each and every day by getting out, getting active, decluttering your physical and emotional state and promoting good energy in your home, you will get through it, I promise.