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There comes a time each year when my seasonal depression hits, and some years it hits harder than others. Before and as this is happening I try to do some things to ease the feelings of sadness or loneliness. For me, it helps to try to learn how to be in the present. Even when I am hoping for warmer weather and summer activities, I try to find the good in each season I am in.
Some activities that I participate in to help ease my seasonal depression are arts and crafts, exploring the outdoors, and attending on-campus events. I also love to read and write or express my feelings in a journal.
On days that feel long or difficult, but I have some time for things I enjoy, I try to do something creative and artistic. For me, this can be scrapbooking, or painting. Other times, this could be drawing, coloring, photography, or anything else that can turn off my brain and allow me to create. Doing a page in my scrapbook or drawing and painting can help release some of the stress I am feeling. Sometimes this can feel extremely hard to do because seasonal depression can often cause me to feel stuck.
When the weather gets cold and summer activities wind down it can feel really hard to get involved with nature. However, it is still extremely important to spend time outside even in the cold. Even though the temperature is no longer 70 degrees and sunny, there are many fall and winter activities to take part in. For instance, I enjoy
taking walks when the leaves are turning, going apple or pumpkin picking, or even getting out of the room to go for a drive. It is scientifically proven that spending time in nature can improve your mental health. Sometimes campuses will also host events I can be a part of including sports games. These are a great way to get some fresh air while also enjoying watching a game with friends or taking time to be alone at a game.
I like to think of fall and winter as a reset period for my mind and body. This is when I try to allow myself to be slow, calm, and collect my thoughts. I often do this by reading more books and expressing my thoughts through poetry or journaling. If you could see how many self-care journals I have in my bookcase you would laugh, but they truly help me, especially in the fall and winter times.
I know that oftentimes it is easier said than done, but filling my downtime with creative and stimulating activities like these can benefit my mind. It allows me to focus on the present and not just be surrounded by the negative energy that these seasons can bring.