It’s that time of year! Fall is finally here, but for some people it can be scary. Seasonal depression is approaching and we need to make sure that our mental health does not deteriorate during this season. If you are not familiar with seasonal depression or seasonal affective disorder, it is a mood disorder in which depression occurs at the same time every year, usually in the fall and winter months. For those of you who are experiencing this condition, here are five tips to help you get through this time.
The first tip is to start journaling your emotions! If you have no one to talk to or feel as though you’re stuck in your head, journaling is a helpful method in conquering your seasonal depression. Spilling everything out on the page will help control your feelings and gain new perspectives on the situation at hand. Yet, when journaling, make sure you read what you wrote and make changes to your life that will help you not feel that way again. Don’t forget journaling does not always have to be negative emotions; write what your highlight of the day is and how it made you feel or jot down positive notes that you can read at a later time.
The second tip is meditation. Meditation can be a peaceful and relaxing time in which all the stresses of life can slowly disappear for a couple of minutes. Just pick a peaceful and relaxing position and take long deep breaths. Try saying positive words of affirmation to yourself such as “ I am beautiful!”, “ I am enough! ”, or “I am Strong.” Taking a few minutes in the day to appreciate yourself can be a powerful thing. A moment of silence can bring about so much peace as well. Meditation is known to decrease anxiety and social anxiety, stress, and depression.
Exercise is one of the best treatments for this disorder. Many times seasonal depression is caused by the lack of sunlight. The happy chemical in our brain, also known as serotonin, decreases when we have not received enough light. Let some light in and move your body! Exercise is a great stress reliever for many. Try going for a walk or even download the nike training club app which has short easy exercises.
The final tip is to find something you love to do whether that's painting, dancing, playing basketball, hanging out with family, or giving back to the community. Find what you love and do more of it. If you love painting, go out and buy that canvas or if you love helping your community, look up ways to get out and volunteer. Doing something you love is the best thing you can do, not just during this season but for all seasons to come.
These are just five tips that will hopefully help you through this tough time, but everyone is different and has different ways of coping. Find that sweet spot and a little patch of sunlight and you will get through it!