It’s that time of the year again. The sun sets at 4 PM. The trees are losing their color. 6 o’clock feels like 10 PM. And the seasonal depression starts to sink in.
By the time I finish with a class or whatever I used to procrastinate with, the sun is setting.
The day practically seems over, and it’s not even 4:30.
When we turned our clocks back, we reset the day to have more daylight into the morning hours, therefore getting darker earlier. Making it harder for college students like me to get outside or even out of bed. Say you wake up at 11 AM, by the time you get ready for the day you might have 3 good hours of daylight left.
I’ve developed a decrease in motivation while being home for the holidays, which is one of the things that keeps me inside struggling to get work done. When I look out to see the sun already setting, I think, What’s the rush now? The cycle continues until I realize almost three days have gone by without stepping foot outside. Feelings of emptiness, anxiety, and depression fill up my small bedroom.
Here is a list of a few things that have helped me cope with feelings of seasonal depression.
Setting your alarm early. Whether for a class or for work, it is not fun. But we need to take advantage of this time while the sun is up to either go for a walk or get ahead of your work.
Morning Routines. Try to get into the habit of making your bed when you wake up. It will make you feel like you have your life together even at 8 AM. Wash your face right away. Feeling refreshed and clean is so important when you start your day. It will make you feel awake and ready for the day.
Physical activity. Get your body moving. Exercise has been proven to reduce stress and feelings of depression. Running, yoga, biking, stretching, anything that gets you up and moving.
Eat right. Putting good food into your body can help you feel emotionally better. Trust me, we all have binge days when we eat our feelings. But it is never too late to start eating clean.
Time. Give your body time to rest. If you feel like you need to take a 2-hour nap, do it. Listening to your body is extremely important. We cannot put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and feel perfect all the time.
GET OUTSIDE! Fresh air is so important. Go out and soak up some of that vitamin D we all love and need.
Every day is a gift, please don’t take it for granted <3