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Depressed young woman sitting on a couch with a Christmas tree in the background

How To Manage Seasonal Depression

As the seasons change and the weather gets cooler, do you notice yourself becoming more depressed or feeling down? It can be challenging to adjust to the new “normal” and still feel like yourself. Holidays are also approaching, which can be stressful and difficult to navigate. Whether you’re not a fan of the weather changing, are struggling to adjust when the daylight hours decrease, or are feeling down or anxious with the approaching holidays, you’re not alone.

Many people struggle with “Seasonal Depression”, a mood disorder which is different from other types of depression because it is brought on for a season, often caused by changes that seasons bring. While this type of depression is very common, there is hope. To combat seasonal depression and boost your mood throughout the winter months, it’s important to support yourself in a variety of ways. Here are the top tools you can use to combat these feelings:

  1. Hobbies: Having activities and hobbies you can do despite the weather and changing of the seasons is essential. We feel positive emotions when we are doing something we enjoy, and that helps reduce feeling depressed. Perhaps it’s a good time to curl up and read a book, get into the kitchen and bake something, or have a family game night. Get creative, there are so many activities out there that you just might come to enjoy.
  2. Stay Connected: Social support is essential all the time, not just when it’s nice out. It’s important to stay connected and spend time with friends and family. Whether that’s calling someone on the phone to catch up, going to grab a coffee, or seeing a movie together, there is benefit in any time spent with a good friend or partner.
  3. Get Outside: Yes, getting outside is still important, even if the weather isn’t ideal. While it may feel challenging to do, getting outside where you are breathing fresh air and feeling the sun on your face has amazing benefits for your mood. Even 15 minutes outside in nature can be helpful.
  4. Pursue New Interests: The winter time is often a slower season than others, which makes it a great time to finally pursue new interests. Have you been wanting to finally organize your closet, paint the kitchen, learn how to bake a cake, or take a pottery class? There is no better time than now!
  5. Get Excited About The Next Season: Getting ready for the next season, when the weather is warmer and the days are longer, can be a great mood boost. Perhaps it’s time to begin planning your next vacation or start thinking about growing a garden in the spring. Who says you have to wait until the seasons change to start preparing? It will be here before you know it.
  6. Move Your Body: Having plenty of enjoyable body movements can support your health and mood. Making it a priority to still go on walks when the weather is nice, doing some yoga, or going to the gym is important.
  7. Talk To Someone: Getting support for your depression and learning ways to take care of yourself during this time is key. If you are feeling you could benefit from learning some ways to start managing seasonal depression differently, talking to a counselor and seeking therapy could be important in improving your mood.

No matter what the cause(s) are that are contributing to your depression moods, there is hope. While the seasons change no matter what, you don’t have to feel depressed and down during those times. If you are needing support in managing your depression, reach out to us today to learn how we can support you during this time.