In the coldest season of the year, seasonal depression is common in many individuals and has an impact on their daily lives. I am one of these individuals who understands what the weather can do to your mood. It can be easy to slip into daily naps and avoid leaving your room. While seasonal depression can be hard to deal with, there are certainly little ways of making yourself feel better.
- Watch a comfort show
When I start to feel sad or overwhelmed, the first thing I do is put on New Girl. It has become a comfort show for me and always makes me feel better. It’s good to have one thing to come back to that you know will always put you in a good mood. Some of my other favorite comfort shows that always bring a smile to my face are Jane the Virgin, Dawson’s Creek, Gilmore Girls and Atypical.
- listen to happy music
When it’s gloomy outside and all you feel like doing is listening to sad music, I promise this will not make you feel any better. It has quite the opposite effect. There have been days where all I’ve listened to is Phoebe Bridgers, and trust me, this is not the way to feel happiness. You may not feel like listening to happy music, but a study found that people who intentionally listened to upbeat music improved their moods and increased their happiness in just two weeks.
- Create a self-care routine
One thing that has helped me find little moments of happiness during the day is my self-care routine. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you want it to be. For myself, this consists of applying makeup and doing my hair every day, as well as using my gua sha every night. These may seem like simple, unimportant tasks, but having something to look forward to at the beginning or end of every day brings me joy.
- get outside and exercise
It may seem like a cliché, but getting outside and exercising has a significant impact on your mood. It may be challenging to get out of bed and go for a run, but it’s worth it. Last semester, I joined the running club, which practices every day. Some days, all I want to do is take a nap and stay warm under my covers, but I always end up glad I went to practice, even if it was freezing outside. It has been scientifically proven that aerobic exercises, including jogging, swimming, cycling, walking, gardening and dancing, can reduce anxiety and depression. While running or jogging may not be your thing, try just dancing; you can exercise just by dancing in your room to your favorite song.
While these suggestions are not cures for depression, they can help you find little moments of joy throughout your day. If you find yourself struggling with more than you can deal with, please do not hesitate to ask for help.
Cook Counseling: (540) 231-6557
The Women’s Center: (540) 231-7806