Hey everyone! I contemplated when I wanted to post this topic, or if I even wanted to post it at all, but I think that it is very important. Holidays are special to me because they mean spending time with family. However, when the holidays are over, winter is still very strong and cold. I, like many others, have a hard time and deal with something called Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as seasonal depression. Along with this I also deal with anxiety. Sometimes that depression and anxiety even last beyond the season. I’ve noticed it in the past but it wasn’t until a year ago I fully became aware of it. I usually don’t talk about it, but this post is important to me. It is very real and I hope that maybe by writing this I can help anyone else who may deal with depression and anxiety as well.
Here are things I consciously started last year and think are important when dealing with a down mood:
I’ve found it’s really important to take them daily. There is a whole list of vitamins that are good to take for general health and for emotional and mental health as well. Vitamin D is often deficient in the winter months and can cause you to feel sad. A few others I take to help with my mood are St. John’s Positive Thoughts and St. John’s Wart. They don’t take away depression entirely but they do help to make it manageable. I usually take the Positive Thoughts vitamin in the morning and sometimes afternoon, then St. John’s Wart at night.
Along with this, staying hydrated in general is important. Coffee is my usual go-to in the cold months but caffeine isn’t the best for your mood. So, I have grown to love Yerba Mate. It’s an acquired taste. (Coffee is still my go-to comfort drink), but it has an amazing effect to it that gives mental clarity along with giving you energy while not having that caffeine crash. Another tea that I like is Kava, which is relaxing and good for anxiety.
Listen to music that makes you happy. If it has a negative message, put it aside. We need good vibes in the cold winter months, not music that’s going to drag us down!
My examples of music that makes me happy:
- Mr Blue Sky by: ELO
- Lovely Day by: Bill Withers
- Higher and Higher by: Jackie Robinson
- Don’t Stop Me Now by: Queen
- St Elmo’s Fire by: John Parr
- People Loving People by: Garth Brooks
Find music that makes you happy and create a playlist. Listen to it. Listen to the words and the tunes. Hold onto it.
4. Keep up with your normal routine and use a daily planner
Especially in the cold, it can be easy to stop. To not get out as much, to skip things you would normally do or to sleep more. This can be dangerous. Don’t withdraw. Even when it’s tempting, actively try to overcome the temptation and keep up with your regular routine. Also, a daily planner can be helpful when dealing with anxiety. Things may feel overwhelming but when they are written out and broken up into small amounts they feel more manageable.
5. Bright colors
Winter can be dark enough with the gloomy sky and lack of sun. When I was younger and I was in a mood I would drift toward darker colors but now I’ve noticed that it doesn’t help my mood at all. Bring some color into your life, whether it be in your journal or daily planner, or in the clothes you wear.
6. Find something to look forward to
Whether it be something big, small, something soon or something six months from now. I suggest making a plan and sticking to it, researching it along the way and keeping it in mind so that you have something to look forward to. Winter won’t last forever. It may feel like a long time but warm weather and sunshine will be here again soon!
7. Remember you aren’t alone
So many people deal with depression and anxiety, whether it be seasonal or regularly. While I wish it didn’t exist at all, sometimes I find it comforting to know that it is something a lot of people face. We just need to push through. It helps to let someone know when you are going through a hard time, too. I don’t usually like to talk about it, but on the other hand, words are powerful. It’s good to let someone know so that you aren’t alone if you are feeling weighted down.
If you are struggling, please don’t be afraid to get help. These are just a handful of techniques I have implemented into my life. What works for me might not work for someone else. I hope though that maybe something in this post will be able to help you in your life, whether you are faced with anxiety, depression, or even if you love winter and feel great the whole way through :)!
Featured image credit: Good Vibes – Lettering T-Shirt Graphic Design by sebion deviant