Winter is a very difficult time for many people. Many suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder. Others suffer from depression that is heightened by the presence of cold and gloomy weather and lack of sunlight. Both of these things are terrible and troubling to deal with in a normal year, but now in a pandemic, anxiety and depression have reached all new depths. No one should have to go through the pain and stress of these issues. Here are some helpful tips for making your day a little easier in these troubling times.
1. Purchase a Therapy Light. Therapy lights are little light sources that mimic daylight. They regulate the melatonin hormone in your body, helping you feel more awake when you are. They also help to produce serotonin, a primary hormone responsible for regulating your mood. I have personally found this purchase highly beneficial.
2. Get outside. I know, in freezing temperatures and snow, it is not appealing at all to go outside for anything. However, even five minutes of fresh air really helps to calm your mind, reset and get perspective on what is happening in your life. Admittedly, this one is very hard for me to remember to do, and to get over how cold it may be, even though I know it will help me feel better. Just remember to bundle up!
3. Move your body. As cliché as it may sound, getting moving is something that is proven to benefit your mind. I really enjoy working out for around 45 minutes, give or take, and practicing yoga. These are two things that I have added to my routine that make me feel a little bit better and more at peace. I highly recommend looking up at home workouts and yoga practices on YouTube!
4. Talk to someone. I acknowledge that therapy is not widely available and can be stigmatized, which is so wrong and unfair in so many ways. If you can, I recommend taking part in it. If you cannot, or it isn’t something you are ready for, I really recommend talking to a friend, a hotline, or even just journaling all of your thoughts out. Even the simplest expression of what is happening with you is a beneficial move.
I know that this season and these mental health issues can feel so overwhelming, upsetting, and discouraging, and that these tips seem like silly non-solutions. However, from a person that also struggles with anxiety and depression, making myself take these little steps every day makes each day feel a little easier to get through.
If you or someone you know is experiencing harmful or suicidal thoughts, depression, or anxiety, please reach out to these resources. You are never a burden, and you are never, ever, alone.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line: text HOME to 741741