Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
self-love
Original Illustration by Gina Escandon for Her Campus Media
Wellness

Seasonal Affective Disorder

*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed professional. Please consult with a licensed professional or doctor if you may need it. These are things that have worked on me to cope with seasonal affective disorder and I wanted to share.

Cooler weather, pumpkin patches, the return of Starbucks holiday drinks, family holidays, and other festivities may be some of the best parts of the year. There are so many things to look forward to when fall and winter approaches, but when reality hits, the long nights can start to take a toll on our bodies and mind. The days become shorter and the nights come quicker, I can begin to feel myself slipping away or slacking in my responsibilities. 

Seasonal affective disorder is a type of depression, however, it is important to know that it differs from severe depression. This may only happen during certain seasons. It may increase or deepen depression in those who already have severe depression. A theory that experts believe to cause seasonal affective disorder is the overproduction of melatonin due to shorter daylight and reduced sun exposure. Mainly people will experience this during fall or winter as the nights are longer. 

The symptoms may include difficult concentration, changes in sleeping patterns, feelings of hopelessness, and decreased energy or interest. These symptoms may change and vary depending on the person. It is important to know the symptoms and signs in ourselves and others so that we can take care of each other. This can affect our work, school, and social life. 

Self-care and self-awareness are going to be vital these next few months. These are my favorite ways to help decrease seasonal affective disorder.

 

  • Be An Early Bird

Starting your day early can help give you extra hours during the day while it is still bright to take care of responsibilities before the sun sets. This can include cleaning, finishing assignments, or running errands. 

  • Establish A Healthy Routine

Setting a consistent routine can help ease symptoms. Setting a regular sleeping schedule, making your bed every morning, daily reading, or exercising can all be great habits to be a part of your healthy routine. 

  • Let The Lights Shine

Since the extra amount of darkness is the main trigger of seasonal affective disorder, it is so important to bask in the sunlight if you are able to. It may not be sunny every day during this season, but you can expose yourself to lights. Light therapy boxes mimic the sunshine and aid in reducing melatonin. Or try decorating with fairy lights or fun light bulbs to brighten your room and make your space cozy.

  • Every Day is Self Care Day

Take the time to show yourself a little bit of extra love through the practice of self-care. Not only it will make you feel better, but you also are always deserving of something extra. Self-care may come in physical, mental, and social forms. It varies for everyone, branch out to try different things to learn what makes you feel comforted and all bubbly inside. For me, it’s a lathering in a luxurious body scrub or lighting my favorite candles. 

  • Words of Affirmations

The power of reassurance and affirming words can truly help start and end your day on a positive note. Set your lock screen with your favorite quotes or set notes throughout your space for that extra kick of motivation or positivity. You can also be a sincere voice and check in on your friends to send words of affirmations they may be in need of. 

  • Take The Time You Need

Of course, not every day will be filled with magical words or self-care and that is completely okay. Take the time you need to get things going again. It’s okay to get extra sleep or miss a routine sometimes. Say “no” to certain tasks or denying an event if you really need to or simply just want to. Your feelings and emotions are still valid during this time as you care for yourself.

 

These next few months may be harder especially during the times of a pandemic, however, you are not alone. Amidst it all, remember that we are all loved by someone and we matter. By taking the time to recognize and be aware of symptoms, we can start incorporating ways to take care of our bodies and mind. The sun will shine again and so will you! 

Figuring her way through her 20's through inclusive beauty, lifestyle, and fashion. Loves immersing in new cultures and foods. Empowering and empowered by women.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️