With the winter season quickly approaching the talk about seasonal depression is at an all time high. It gets dark earlier, temperatures are starting to drop, and covid is still running rampant. How are we supposed to cope with so much working against us? Not to mention any other personal and global woes we’re forced to deal with, too.
If, like me, you aren’t in a position where you’re able to afford a therapist, you might struggle with finding things to brighten up what can possibly be a dreary time. Good news for you is, I’ve made finding coping mechanisms a little easier by compiling a list of possibles. Now, I’m no professional or anything and of course these aren’t the only things you can do, but from doing some of these things myself and getting input from friends…the list just might be able to help!
- Let the sunshine pour in: Yeah, I know it can be a little gray outside in the cooler months, but letting a little bit of light into your living space can definitely work as a mood booster!
- Use your scents: Have a favorite scent? Use it! Candles are a great way to get cozy. Or, even using a scent that brings back happy memories can work.
- Try to stay active: Join a gym or if you aren’t into that look up a few exercise routines on Youtube to get your blood pumping. There are several people who post workouts for free (I’ll post some links below). When you’re in a rut, sticking with a routine can help a lot, at least for me. You just have to will yourself to get started which I know can be tough, but YOU CAN DO IT!
- Plan a “virtual” or “social-distance” friendly date with friends or fam: Sometimes we just need to share a few laughs with the ones we care about the most. Maybe you could go out for a coffee or food (covid permitting), or maybe you could utilize the Netflix Party add-on available in the Google Chrome browser to catch up on some shows together.
- Journal: I always have a tough time with this one, but a lot of my friends set time aside to write down their thoughts about their day and really enjoy doing it. It allows you to be candid about your emotions since no one else is going to read it and it gives you a way to release anything that’s weighing on your mind.
- Make an uplifting playlist: Whether you prefer to throw some Fred Hammond or 21 Savage on, just make a playlist of whatever makes you feel good. Getting up and having an impromptu dance session courtesy of the playlist can lift your spirits, too.
- Watch your favorite childhood movie/television show: I don’t know about you, but watching old cartoons and movies I loved as a kid always puts a smile on my face. Pair that with a nice cup of your favorite hot beverage on those chilly days/nights and you’ll be in a better mood in no time, guaranteed!
- Get in touch with your spirituality: Personally, I like to read daily devotionals via the Bible app everyday to lift my spirits when I’m down, but I know that’s not everyone’s thing so just try to connect with whatever entity or non-entity you believe in. If you don’t believe in anything, just connect with yourself. I hear meditation is a great way to get yourself together!
Hopefully a few of these tips help you out of any current or future slumps. But, most importantly, remember to ALWAYS be kind to yourself. Being down in the dumps isn’t something to be ashamed of. It happens and it’s completely normal.
Be sure to make you and your mental health a priority. Don’t be embarrassed to seek a shoulder to lean on if you feel called to. Whether this be reaching out to friends (try not to emotionally dump though, boundaries are important), or seeking out a professional…DO IT! Everyone can benefit from talking or messaging with someone (text based counseling sessions are a thing, by the way), and luckily for our generation the idea of seeking out a therapist isn’t as taboo as it was before.
Keep your head up. WE got this!
Toni Mitchell: https://www.youtube.com/c/ToniMitchell/videos
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Netflix Party: https://www.netflixparty.com/