Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a form of depression triggered by the changes in daylight and weather. It primarily takes affect in late fall and wintertime.
Taking care of our mental health is important year-round, but can more critical during the shorter and darker days. If you are seriously struggling, reach out to a doctor or visit the MU Counseling Center. If you’re just looking for activities that’ll brighten your mood, here are a couple of activities you can do alone or with a group of friends.
1. Find and cook a new fall recipe
Baking and cooking with your friends or family is a great way to boost your mood. Try cooking something you’ve never made before. Use fall vegetables took to make a warm soup or use pumpkin in your baked goods for a delicious fall treat.
2. Find a good book instead of scrolling on your phone
No matter what time of year, a social media cleanse is always great for your mental health. Instead of mindlessly scrolling and comparing, pick up a book you’ve always wanted to read. Books are a great distraction from the stress of our everyday lives. Whether it’s a classic novel or some cheesy romance from the bargain bin, find something that’ll get you excited to read.
This time of year is the perfect opportunity to volunteer in your community. With the holidays fast-approaching, there are tons of simple ways to volunteer. You can donate canned goods or help at a local food bank, adopt a child or family for Christmas or donate to a toy drive. Helping others is one of the easiest ways to raise your spirits.
4. find a stress-free hobby
Knitting, sewing and crocheting are all perfect hobbies to help keep you busy while being relaxed. Not only are they fun hobbies to have, but the results are cozy and seasonally stylish accessories. Other examples of calming hobbies include painting-by-numbers, journaling and yoga.
5. DeClutter and Deep Clean
Taking time to deep clean your space creates a peaceful and relaxing environment. Ensuring that your space is free of excess clutter gives you a calming atmosphere where you can unwind. In addition to a more peaceful environment, cleaning your surroundings helps you focus better on tasks at hand and perform them more efficiently.