Seasonal depression is something that most people deal with to some extent every year. When people talk about seasonal depression they more often than not experience it during the winter months. For me, I really had never experienced seasonal depression or at least it was never clear enough for me to realize that is what I was experiencing. I am from California so for me, the winter months were still pretty warm, it would only rain a couple of weeks out of the year so I never really knew what it was like to live in a dark gray and gloomy place until this year. Last year when I was living in Ellensburg the winter was nowhere near this extreme and long-lasting. It didn’t really snow until February and the cold was not this bad at all.
One really good thing about last year was that even if I did face seasonal depression it was not to this extent and I didn’t really have that many people super close to me like I do this year so my personality and attitude change didn’t affect anyone. Whereas this year I am lucky enough to be surrounded by so many amazing people but with that comes the downfall of having a hard impact on them without even realizing it.
I had a really eye-opening conversation with my mom, which caused me to reach back out to my therapist, take daily walks even if it is just to the mailbox, and just take a moment to myself to really focus on what I am doing.
Along with those more personal things that helped me, I really started to focus on what things brought joy to me and my brain. What things took the focus away from the dark cloud above my head and to a warm place where I could feel the warmth within myself. A few things that really had an impact on me were baking or cooking something new each week, getting out of town even if it was just for a day, taking a bath, journaling, and spending a night to myself to just be within the silence.
Of course, everyone gets different types of seasonal depression and all handle them in their own way but these are a few ways that helped me as someone who had never really dealt with overpowering seasonal depression.