Winter Blues are real, and I suffer from it. I am a relatively happy person, I love making others smile and being an overall happy, bubbly person. When I first got diagnosed with depression I didn’t know what to feel. Going from a happy person morning to night to one day not being able to recognize myself was the most confusing and upsetting thing. I didn’t seek help at first, which I really wish I did, so I never knew what it was. It got to the point where I would not want to leave bed and no one could put me in a good mood, I thought my life was over. After constantly hearing from the loved ones around me, I decided to seek help. After talking to a therapist and my primary care doctor they explained to me that I had depression and that it is at its worst for me at different seasons. Hearing this flipped my world upside down. I don’t like taking medicine first off (don’t judge), so when I was prescribed medicine I pretty much refused to take it. I made it a goal to find other ways to calm me down and bring my mood back up.
First, plain and simple, surround yourself with the things you love. If I wake up in a bad mood I make sure to give myself extra time in that day to do things I like whether it be cooking, baking, playing with my dog, or hanging out with friends. On the topic of friends, a few of my friends didn’t understand depression. I realized over time that these people were not meant to be in my life, they were not there for me in the way I needed them and in the way others were, and it is important to realize that that is OKAY.
Meditation is another big thing that helps me. Waking up to no sunshine and bitter cold can really set the tone for the rest of the day. Waking up and taking even ten minutes to do meditation helps so much for my anxiety. I always start by plugging in my oil diffuser, playing calm music, and doing mindful breathing to really calm myself down and and get into the right mindset for the day.
Exercise! Okay I know it sounds awful, but it only is bad when you first start up. Going to the gym is truly a stress blaster and the release of endorphins really does put me in a better mood. Working out also doesn’t have to be boring. It is as simple as grabbing a friend and going on a hike or doing a yoga class. Pro Tip- over the summer in Buffalo, free sunrise yoga classes are offered by canal side and I cannot express to you how peaceful these classes are.
Get Away! If you have the money, go and get away and find that sunshine, especially with spring break coming up for a lot of schools! Even if you don’t have the money, getting in your car and driving around listening to music, looking at a new set of scenery can really do good for yourself.
At the end of the day, sometimes you won’t be able to make yourself feel better and it is important to remember that, that is okay. It is okay to be sad, but is so much more important to remember to pick yourself up after that sad day and to realize your worth. College is a stressful time so just giving yourself even a little bit of time surrounding yourself with the things and people you love can flip that day around.
Remember, it does and it will get better and that everything happens for a reason. Something I like to live by is, “Don’t ask yourself why all these bad things are happening to you, but what can you learn from all these bad things that are happening?”.