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Seasonal affective disorder, also known as seasonal depression, is something that can affect anyone, but it isn’t something you should just give in to. There are many practices and tips that will help you fight off seasonal depression this winter.

Get a happylight

This is one thing that I thought was really stupid, but as it got darker earlier, I would get more tired and less motivated. This light helps me stay focused and awake. You can use it when working in the evening or whenever your inside surroundings are lacking sunlight.

Find HappyLight Therapy products here.

take walks outside

Something about the fresh air always makes me feel better. Wrap up in some layers and just take a walk with a pet, friend, partner or your family members. Or go by yourself! Even if it is cold outside, being outdoors can give you the rush you need to fight off the blues.

focus on a hobby that makes you happy

Sometimes all you need to do is find the motivation to do something. Watching TikToks and Netflix is all fun and games, but you should try to do something with your hands. You could get into baking, painting, dancing, basketball, ice skating or anything that gives you a good feeling inside. It can be hard to find the motivation, but once you do, you won’t regret it.

travel (if you can)

Just because it’s winter, that doesn’t mean you have to stay all bundled up inside. Go somewhere new or exciting. You don’t have to go anywhere fancy or expensive. If you can find a local place that intrigues you, like a hiking trail, new store or recreational complex, go check it out!

try something new

Try to excite yourself by doing something new! There are tons of opportunities to do things you have never done before. Here are some things you can do in Columbia, Mo.:

  • Go axe throwing
  • Try a new cuisine
  • Take a pole dancing class
  • Take a Lyra class
  • Take a silks class
  • Try a new coffee shop
  • Paint pottery
  • Play pinball
  • Go bowling
  • Make a candle
  • Go on a blind date with a book
  • Go to a farmers market

Go to a local event or festival

Get a group of people to go to a local event with you. It could be hosted by your city or it could be hosted by a local business. You can go on Facebook and see what is happening around you! There could be shows or holiday celebrations happening near you. You can also look for concerts and try to find a new interest.

act like a child again

There is nothing wrong with growing up, but you don’t have to! Channel your inner child and build a pillow fort, have a snowball fight, build a snowman, or catch some snowflakes on your tongue. Don’t worry about what others may see (they will probably,y be jealous of how much fun you are having).

Go on a drive

If you have nothing better to do get in you or your friend’s car and just drive around. You can play some jams for just talk. This is where you can live your best movie life. You can do this too whatever mood you are in!

volunteer

This one works in two ways: you get something to do and you also help others. There are a lot of places that need extra help, especially during the holiday season. Set aside some time to serve your community and you will feel better by helping others.

Journaling

If you want to stay inside and beat the cold, you can journal to help process your feelings and thoughts. It is a great way to express your feelings and get them out of your head. You can write them down physically, type, paint, sculpt or use whatever medium you prefer. You can even burn your journal when you are done, if you’d like. The most important part of this activity is that you are processing your thoughts.

In the end, there are so many things you can do to fight seasonal depression. Don’t stress over it, do what you can and most importantly, do what feels right for you. Everyone is always at different spots and different levels with their emotional well-being. And if you’re feeling like everything is a little too much to handle, don’t be afraid to reach out to a trusted friend.

(she/her) Madison Thompson is a junior at The University of Missouri- Columbia and has direct admission into the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism School. She is an older sister and loves to read and write. In addition to Journalism, Madison loves creative writing. Madison has a self-published poetry book titled "The Journey". Her Poem Supermarket was a finalist in the 2019 KET writing contest.
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