9 Ways to Help Get Over Seasonal Depression
The holidays are supposed to be a happy time, but they also come around during winter, AKA the time when it’s dark outside at 5 PM and dark in my soul all the time. I’m not kidding. There’s actually a thing called Seasonal Affective Disorder (aptly called SAD, for short) which is a mood disorder that occurs at the same time every year. Many people, including myself, unfortunately experience it around the holidays. But don’t fear! Here are a few tips to get you through it.
1. What's your Favorite TV Show?
There’s nothing like the comfort of curling up in front of the TV and binging your favorite show like it was the first time you'd ever watched it. However, I would suggest picking your favorite reality TV show, like one where a bunch of 20-somethings live in a house and or The Real Housewives of Wherever — these shows are a wonderful mess, filled with low IQs but high drama. And great vacations! Watching these people make fools of themselves on TV will make you feel like you’re not doing so bad.
There’s nothing like getting a good sweat in to get your energy up. Getting up and going to the gym will get you out of bed finally (it probably smells in there). But going to a public gym has always been a favorite of mine, because for that $10 a month membership, you can turn it into your own spa! Make the bench press your lounge area, and get the guy that offers to spot you to give you a massage. Then, stand creepily at in the back of the group showers for a nice steam. You’ll get some hostility from the other patrons, but your pores will be open.
3. Get Fresh Air
Like I said, your room is going to get pretty ripe after a few days, so step outside and smell the roses. You never know what could happen! Just today, I decided to go outside, and caught a burglar right before he was about to steal my Amazon package. We chatted for a minute, while he pretended he was just looking for his mail, and while I can’t say we’ll be lifelong friends, I was glad that I gave it a chance. I’m also glad my third Snuggie wasn’t stolen.
I know this one sounds all hippie-dippie, but trust me on this, it works. Simply sit still, clear your mind of all the stress and anxiety you have and repeat a personalized chant of your own to yourself. This can be anything that calms you. Here are a few things I’ve used: “No one noticed you weren’t wearing deodorant the other day.” “Those aren’t stretch marks, they’re battle scars.” and “Your Law and Order addiction is a perfect replacement for a law degree.”
5. Get A Hobby
Contrary to popular belief, this can’t just be laying around watching YouTube videos. I know. But there are lots of actual activities that I’ve found are extremely fulfilling. My favorite things has been painting. It lets you flex your artistic muscles and goes great with wine! Paint a masterpiece with one hand and sip a pinot grigio with the other. Soon you won’t even remember you troubles… because of the alcohol.
6. Make Good Food
Of course, one of the best things you can do to cheer yourself up is make your favorite comfort food. It's probably something starchy, cheesy, and calorie-filled, which will add to the holiday pounds we all pack on, but don’t worry. You probably cried all morning and that means you lost both water weight and have basically done a million crunches when you kept tossing and turning in despair. This will balance it all out.
7. Take a Nap
So the benefits of this go without saying. Sleeping is awesome! And when you don’t feel good, getting some rest and waking up renewed is a must. But logically, the more sleep you get, the more renewed you’ll feel. I challenge you to see how long you can sleep. My record is 72 hours with only two bathroom breaks. Again, my room didn’t smell like Chanel No. 5 after, but the clearheaded result was worth it.
This is something a therapist suggested to me. At the end of each day, it’s always good to reflect on the day by putting it on paper. It’s a great way to get everything off of your chest. It’s cathartic. Of course, it’s not easy to be open right away. Just look at my very first journal entry: “Dear Diary, I don’t know why my therapist made me do this. It’s stupid. I had a terrible day. It was stupid. I didn’t leave the house all day because I was waiting for my Snuggie to arrive in the mail, and I think it was stolen. Stupid.”
9. Spend Time with Loved Ones
At the end of the day, depression is real and it sucks. And unfortunately there’s not one solution that will fix it. However, the one thing that will probably be true for most is that you’ll be around the ones you love the most during the holiday season. Spend some quality time with them, tell them how much you love them, and let them shower you with love right back. It always makes me feel better.
Have any other tips? Let me know on Twitter!