Building Resilience: Strategies to Manage Seasonal Depression
For some, the shorter days and longer nights bring about a shift in mood, marking the onset of seasonal depression. The phenomenon, known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), can cast a shadow over our lives, making the winter months a challenging time to navigate.
Building resilience and discovering strategies specifically tailored to manage and overcome the effects of seasonal depression is possible. Let’s uncover practical tools, delve into the psychology behind seasonal affective disorder, and discuss ways to cultivate emotional strength during the darker months.
Make Healthy Food Choices
When you’re struggling with something like seasonal depression, it’s more important than ever to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. Taking care of yourself means making sure you’re meeting your basic needs as a human.
Depression can get in the way of your daily life and have a negative impact on things like your eating habits. That’s why it’s important to get ahead of this and try to prevent this from happening. You should be trying to eat between three to five meals each day.
Make sure you’re not skipping meals. On the other hand, make sure you’re not consuming items that are high in fats or sugars, either. Along with eating a healthy and well-balanced diet, you should be aiming to drink enough water as well.
Prioritize Your Sleep Routine
Another area of your life that can be negatively affected by depression is your sleep schedule and routine. Some individuals with depression may experience more difficulty in sleeping, while others may want to sleep for longer periods of time.
You can try to get ahead of this by getting your body on a natural sleep cycle by going to bed at the same time each night and waking up around the same time each morning. Over time, your body will naturally recognize this schedule and feel more awake in the mornings and more tired at night. Aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night to ensure that you have proper rest and recovery, as well as being able to function to the best of your ability each day.
Don’t Isolate Yourself
Depression can also make it more difficult for someone to want to socialize with others. They may even feel obligated to stay in the comfort of their home and self-isolate. Try not to do this. Your family and friends are there for you through the good times and the bad.
Let them know what you need from them during this time so they can show up and support you in whatever way you need them. They can just listen to you, hang out with you, or be a shoulder to cry on. Being with others can help you feel a little less alone, even if you may not be ready to talk about how you’re feeling.
Seek Additional Support
While there are certain lifestyle changes you can make to help reduce and better manage some of the signs and symptoms of seasonal depression, there isn’t a replacement for proper treatment and support. If you or a loved one are struggling with seasonal depression, seeking support from a trained and licensed mental health professional is highly recommended. The longer you deal with the signs and symptoms of depression without proper treatment, the worse those symptoms can get.
Working with a mental health professional can help you get to the root cause of your depression as well as help you work through your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. We’re here when you’re ready to reach out. Schedule an appointment today to get started on your path towards healing.
Click here for more information on depression therapy.