Do you experience seasonal depression? I didn’t think I experienced it much since I love this time of year, but looking back I could see where it creeped in at times.
Even if you’re not a naturally sad or depressed person, it being dark when we wake up and it being dark by the time we get home can totally take a toll on you. Seasonal depression is real and whether you experience one symptom or all the symptoms, it’s important to be proactive to stay on top of it.
That said let’s get into 7 ways to get ahead of seasonal depression.
Understand Your Triggers to Stay Ahead of Seasonal Depression
One way to get ahead of seasonal depression is to understand what triggers you during this season. For some people it’s simply the hustle and bustle of the holiday season that just feels overwhelming. Maybe the holidays aren’t exactly the most wonderful time of year for you. Maybe this time of year reminds you of something sad instead. One, that’s okay, but two, this give you an opportunity to be intentional about the things you expose yourself to this time of year.
Get Outside During the Day
Seasonal depression can definitely be triggered due to the fact that it’s dark when you wake up and dark when you get home. If you’re not able to get outside much, that can really have an effect on your mood.
If you’re working from home let some natural light in, open your windows. If you’re able to, change your working environment. Thankfully my dog has to go out periodically so she definitely gets me outside. If I’m unable to get out for any period of time, I’ll open the door and just breathe in the fresh air; yes even when it’s cold.
Journal or Record Your Days
Staying ahead of your seasonal depression looks like being aware and honest about your feelings and what’s going on. I’m not putting any pressure on anyone to do anything in the last month and some change. If you just to want to tap into your mental, ask self discovery questions or use journal prompts.
Journaling doesn’t always have to be super deep, sometimes it’s just simply acknowledging what you feel, dumping your thoughts and moving on with your day.
Find A Therapist
Therapy isn’t a cuss word, though people like to treat it like such. Seasonal depression is a real thing and attempting to maintain your mental on your own isn’t necessary. Talk to someone, get it out.
Make Time to Do What You Love
Finding time and ways to do something for yourself is so important for staying ahead of seasonal depression. It’s easy to get caught up in the things. The gifts, the holidays, the sales, the things you see everyone else doing especially in the creative space. We tend to go into overdrive for others during this time of year; so much so that there is no real rest and relaxation period.
We get bombarded with “there are this many days left in the year” memes and we feel pressured to perform when the reality of it is, all of that is someone else’s wishes and desires. Don’t do anything that you don’t actually desire to do. Don’t count the days left in the year and put an unrealistic expectation on yourself to do all the things.
At the very least 1x a week if not more decide what you’re going to do for yourself! That will keep you ahead of your seasonal depression.
Meditate on Scripture
One main way I stay ahead of seasonal depression is by reading the word of God. Knowing the truths about myself, about spending, about being taken care of by God. All of those things give me peace and rest.
When I feel overwhelmed with something, for example trying to conceive, I’m so grateful that though everyone around me may be in that space, God has so much for me regarding my own space and I love that I have His word and His truths to rely on.
Some of my favorite devotionals are shared on my post 34 of My Favorite Devotionals.
Set Your Mood to Stay Ahead of Seasonal Depression
Setting the mood is so important for getting ahead of seasonal depression.
I still work from home, but now, having a new job, my mood is so different than it used to be. I love YouTube videos that are coffee shop scenes or rooftop scenes complete with soft music.
They usually have anywhere from 3 to 8 hours of listening time and not only is the music peaceful and calming, it doesn’t hurt to look up and see a scene that is different than my own. They have seasonal options for those like myself who love this time of year, but may not be traveling or love the colder days from inside.
Making an effort to keep my work from home style fun and comfortable but ultimately aligned with my style adds to the overall mood and work experience I desire to have.
NONE of these things prevent depression or prevent bad days from happening, but it’s in being proactive that helps us stay ahead of our seasonal depression instead of succumbing to it.
Do you experience sadness or depression this time of year?