Ahhh, Seasonal Depression! Sure, the saying “Spring has sprung” is cute and all, but can we talk about the fact that there is NO cutesy term for the fact that Fall and Winter can come and roundhouse kick you right off your seat into a freshly dug pit of despair that the moody bitch seasons have dug?
Hello darkness my old friend! Looks like all it really takes to suck you under that heavy, familiar blanket of depression is shorter days, colder weather, and the looming threat of having to play nice with your relatives at Christmas. Ahhh, seasonal depression you old bag, I’d hoped you’d stay away this year but if there’s one thing you’re good at it’s being loyal and checking in often.
I’d been doing a lot of things to work on my personal wellness, when all of a sudden I felt as if the floor gave out beneath me and I was being pulled under into that all-too-familiar hole of sadness and grouch-assery. I realized that it happened around the same time that we had a pretty abrupt shift in weather here, so I’m fairly convinced that at least half this crazy doesn’t belong to me. I’m just the sad bitch holding it for the season.
Seasonal Depression And The Curse Of The Winter Blues
Seasonal depression (also known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder, which literally acronyms out to SAD, ha!) is a cyclical reoccurring depression that comes around the same time every year. Typically, it pops it’s ass up in Fall or Winter, however, there are exceptions to this pattern (some folks get it in the Spring or Summer). There’s a few different theories as to why this happens, with many researchers pointing the finger at seratonin, melatonin, and the body’s natural circadian rhythm being disrupted with the seasons.
Although there’s not really a “cure” for SAD bitch season, there are some things you can do to try and help yourself during this very difficult time.
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I’m not usually a vitamin kinda gal, but I do take vitamin D pretty consistently in the Fall and Winter in an attempt to keep the seasonal depression monster at bay. Studies have found that vitamin D could be low in those who experience SAD, and might help to improve symptoms. It’s one of those things that’s a fairly low investment effort and cost-wise to try, and just might help improve things.
Light therapy is using a lamp to simulate the sun in the months where it’s fucked off behind those clouds that are as bleak and heavy as your emotions. The light they emit is on a wavelength that is intended to mimic that of the sun. The idea is to sit in front of the light box for about half an hour. I use mine when I have my tea and get ready in the morning.
Hey, hate to be that guy telling you to go outside more but here we are. Getting outside in the fresh air and under natural light is immensely beneficial. Additionally, staying active instead of just curling up under a blanket waiting to die is a great way to stave off depression! I realize that this can be easier said than done, especially the getting more light thing, certainly when you have a job or other commitments it can be easier to miss the fewer hours of natural daylight. That being said, if you can get outside then do!
Establish A Routine
Any sort of depression thrives on chaos and sad-mongering, so establishing a routine can be a really novel way to take the guesswork out of at least one area of life. If you get good enough at a routine, then that’s one area of life you can happily not stress over and put on autopilot. Additionally, it creates structure that can provide a little bit of comfort during times when everything else feels adrift.
Another positive thing that can come from establishing a routine is more opportunities for taking care of yourself. Perhaps you could start gratitude journaling or looking at ways to increase your self care?
Go To Your Doctor
Although I’m an all natural, vibe with the moon kinda bitch, I can also tell you that there are issues that we simply cannot fix on our own. If you are truly suffering, you’d be wise to seek help from a medical professional. Life is too short to be miserable. And if you aren’t a big fan of pharmaceuticals, you could ask about getting other sorts of treatment such as therapy.
If you have issues with seasonal depression, remember that this too, shall pass.
In the meantime, try and do what you can to drag yourself through sad bitch season. You definitely aren’t alone.