Seasonal Depression: How to Prepare and What to Do

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Seasonal depression can happen at any time of the year, but it tends to be most prominent during the fall and winter months. While you should always seek professional medical advice to learn how to deal with your symptoms, there are many things that you can also do on your own to feel better. Now that the colder months are arriving, try using these strategies to prepare to make it through this challenging season.


Create a Winter Bucket List


Once you’ve experienced seasonal depression, it is common to dread the winter months before they even arrive. This can set up a self-fulfilling prophecy since you will start to feel anxious as the cold winds begin to blow. Making a winter bucket list gives you something to get excited about, and you can use your goals as motivation to get out of bed each day. Consider planning a trip to somewhere new this year, or learn how to do something fun or creative, like ice skate. You’ll be so excited about doing so many new things that it’ll help lift your depression.


Learn Ways to Cope with Loss


One theory about seasonal depression is that people tend to feel the saddest around the holidays. This is a time of year when you may be mourning the loss of loved ones who are no longer here with you. If this is the case, consider consulting a therapist or spiritual leader in your life. There are both volunteer and paid organizations that are there to help you process your grief, so don’t feel you can’t seek help due to your beliefs or lifestyle.


If you feel uncomfortable talking with a professional therapist or your spiritual leader, there are many hotlines and to help you deal with grief, from clairvoyant psychic readers who can help you connect with lost loved ones to suicide prevention lifelines. Just knowing that you have someone to talk to about the people that you miss can help you make it through those holiday events.


Find a Hobby to Enjoy in the Evenings


Boredom is another major contributor to seasonal depression. If you were used to doing things outside in the evenings, then you may find it hard to be stuck indoors. Try coming up with a new hobby or two to explore that will keep you busy during the later parts of the days. You could learn how to knit a scarf, or you might experiment with new holiday recipes. Staying busy will help you keep depressive thoughts away.


Begin an Indoor Exercise Routine


Exercise is essential for lifting depression because it stimulates your body to release endorphins that contribute to positive mental health. If cold weather can disrupt your current exercise routine, then identify new options that keep you on track. For instance, you could take an indoor cardio class, or you could choose to ride an exercise bike at home.


If the coming winter season fills you with dread, you have got to take action. In addition to your usual therapies, such as light exposure and counseling, you can boost your mood by adding new types of supports to your daily routine. From talking to people about what is bothering you to finding fun new hobbies, you have the ability to make this one of your favorite seasons.

Brooke Chaplan

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening.
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