As the leaves begin to change and the temperatures start to drop, you know that summer has officially come to an end. Aside from the noticeable changes happening outside, we as humans can also experience a change as the seasons turn which is more commonly known as seasonal depression.
Here are 3 areas you can focus on when battling seasonal depression.
You can increase your social interactions. Losing the urge to leave the house and engage in social settings can be a very common symptom for those who have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), otherwise known as seasonal depression. The onset shock of temperature drops and fewer daylight hours can make any person feel off. That’s because the internal clock within your body is also changing. What most people don’t know is that this clock within us doesn’t just impact when you wake up and go to sleep, it has a multitude of effects on your mood and hormones as well. Actively battling these waves of altered feelings can help set you up to conquer this difficult time of year.
Oddly enough, there is no shortage of fun fall activities to do with friends during the beginning of the colder months. If you like to spend your time outside, fall festivals and pumpkin patches can be great options to attend with some friends and enjoy the autumn season. This is a great opportunity to enjoy some fresh air and also boost your serotonin levels with the company you enjoy. If you prefer to beat the cold and stay indoors, some other ideas for you to engage in social settings can be inviting people over for a home-cooked meal, watching a movie in theaters, or even getting a head start on holiday shopping with some friends. No matter what you choose to do, it’s especially important to place yourself in social settings. From laughter to great conversations, these will all help you beat seasonal depression.
You can stick to a routine. Letting your health fall wayside is a common struggle for those battling seasonal depression. Whether it’s the lack of energy or the general feelings of sadness associated with this disorder, it’s common to lose interest in usual activities that bring you joy and serve to benefit your well-being. Take your nightly routine, for instance. Although you may be accustomed to taking your contact lenses out and washing your face before bed, these small rituals will likely be more difficult for you to accomplish once the seasons start to change. And while skipping out on these steps every once in a while isn’t a big deal, constantly overlooking them can wreak havoc on your overall health.
To avoid the chances of this happening, try to set and stick to the same morning and nightly routines by performing them at the same time every day when possible. If you find it hard to hold yourself accountable—as most people experiencing seasonal depression do—try and be proactive before the transition of the season begins. For example, to ensure you keep your body moving and remain physically active throughout the winter, consider signing up for a spin class or another fitness program. This way, you can force yourself to get up and get moving, which tends to be half the battle in the first place.
You can talk about it. At the end of the day, seasonal depression is still a form of depression and it needs to be taken seriously. If at any point you start to feel that you cannot handle this yourself, it’s important to reach out for help. Therapy services are a great option as they can offer best-in-class professional therapists to assist you in these difficult times. As an additional benefit, these types of services offer customized plans for your specific needs that ensure you can make progress with whatever you’re facing in a timely manner.
In addition to attending therapy sessions, there are other methods of talking about your feelings you can also try – including journaling or leaning on a loved one. Journaling can be a great option for you because it can be done anywhere and at any time. When it comes to your loved ones, they know you the best out of anybody so going to them for advice may be a great choice. Be sure to lean on loved ones with whom you feel safe and who will offer a comforting space for you to open up. No matter what style you prefer when talking about your feelings, letting down your walls and opening up can only help.
Everyone can feel a little down or under the weather sometimes, and that’s okay. While it may seem hard to dig up the energy to fight back, it’s important to put your best foot forward in overcoming seasonal depression. Acenda offers many mental health services to help you or someone you love who may be struggling.