How to be Prepared for Seasonal Depression

Finally, it’s getting to that perfect time of year when it’s 60 degrees and the leaves are turning colors. It’s the perfect cozy, happy weather. However, what immediately follows is less than pleasant. Even if you don’t suffer from depression during the rest of the year, winter has this stupid ability to drain everyone quite quickly. So, rather than trying to get yourself out of the depression after it’s begun, I’ve made this list to help get everyone prepared for what’s to come.

  1. 1. Invest in a Sun Lamp

    One of the biggest things that can cause seasonal depression is the lack of sunlight. Light can be a huge energy and mood booster. So, checking out Amazon for a “light” or “sun” lamp can definitely be helpful. Here’s the link to the one that I use during the winter. Just having it on for 30 minutes a day can decrease the “bleh” feeling. (Remember to use smile.amazon.com to donate to the charity of your choice!)

  2. 2. Schedule Therapy Sessions

    Most universities and colleges will offer free therapy/counseling sessions with students. Make sure to take advantage of this. Talking to a professional is a huge benefit when combatting your own mind. You can’t rely on yourself alone, so talking to someone whose career is helping people with mental illness is incredibly positive.

  3. 3. Don’t Isolate Yourself

    One of the best ways to make sure that you don’t descend into a spiral of feeling alone and depressed is to make the time to hang out with friends. It’s more than likely that your friends are going through the same thing that you are. So, when you’re down, force yourself out of bed and make plans. A nice coffee with friends or, here in Kansas City, spending a night out at Crown Center or at Westport can be a wonderful time to embrace togetherness and help share positive energy with friends.

After years of going through this myself, I’ve found that seasonal depression can hit at the most inconvenient times, especially since winter begins right around finals...because of course it does. But by being proactive and starting these practices before the proverbial storm hits, we can all work on reducing our symptoms and experience a happier winter.