Seasonal depression affects a number of people each year. While many people are happy when the holidays roll around, some people cannot fight the depressing feeling they have. When fall and winter come every year, there is less sun in the Northern Hemisphere. This makes some feel more depressed. You could move to Australia, or you could do something more practical. Consider these tips if you're feeling bluer than normal.
1. Increase Your Exposure to Ultraviolet Light
Even though you're getting less sun than in the spring and summer, you can do other things to increase your exposure to sunlight. Go outside more than you normally would. It doesn't take a long time to get enough sunlight to produce vitamin D. Your body produces vitamin D naturally when you're in the sun. You don't have to be entirely exposed to make enough vitamin D either. Usually, all you need is 15 minutes a day. During the fall and winter months, get a little more to help give yourself a boost. You could try artificial lighting too. Light therapy boxes mimic the sun's rays. All you need to do is sit in front of one for a short period of time every day to help make vitamin D and improve your mood.
2. Take Vitamin D
If the thought of facing the cold for a few of the sun's rays has you shivering, you can always take vitamin D capsules. You could also increase fish, eggs and other vitamin D foods in your diet. Along with vitamin D, eat healthy in general. Fruit and vegetables will give you the right vitamins and nutrients to provide you with good energy, which can help to improve your mood too.
3. Get Help
You're not always your best when you're depressed. No one is. It's wise to get some help as you pass through this difficult situation. At work, look into order management solutions. At home, get others to help you out with cooking and cleaning. You could opt to have your groceries delivered to you. Get premade food during the week to lighten your load. Use the extra time you have to do something that makes you happy.
4. Increase Your Endorphins
When you're feeling down, it's a good idea to increase your endorphins to help yourself feel better. This is easy to do because you can do it a number of ways. In general, you should get some amount of exercise five days out of the week. Take a walk outside, go for a run, or lift weights. To produce more endorphins, make yourself laugh and smile more. You can fake a smile or laughter, and your brain will start producing endorphins. You can watch a funny movie, or play a game with family or friends. It doesn't matter what makes you laugh.
5. Spend More Time With Friends and Family
Hug your friends and family more often, and spend time with them in general. Spending time with others makes people happier. Don't stress yourself out by making a big production either. You could order a pizza and invite a few friends over to watch a movie. Get simple drinks and snacks to enjoy a chat by the fireplace. If you want to do something that's grander, go for it.
6. Be Kind to Yourself
When you're going through a difficult time, the last thing you want to do is be hard on yourself. Give yourself extra compassion and love. Take a long bubble bath. Give yourself extra honey in your tea. Treat yourself to some shopping. Find other ways to be nice to yourself.
The good thing about seasonal depression is that it's temporary, and you have some ways that you can effectively deal with it. Don't beat yourself up about it. Just accept what it is, and decide to take action.
By Paisley Hansen
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