Tips to Beat Depression This Winter
I'm scared for this winter. It's not simply the vicious cold and the almost daily dump of snow that I'm dreading, but the annual worsening of my depression. While I haven't been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, I know that winter affects my depression symptoms.
I'm fighting the urge to dismiss my feelings by telling myself, "Yeah, well everyone hates winter," and actually take some preventative measures to keep my mood up.
I'm definitely going to set up my mood lamp somewhere in a frequently-used room in my apartment, and try my best to remember to use it. Maybe I'll set a timer on my phone to make sure I get reminded to turn it on. Yet I get the feeling that just doing that won't be enough to keep me above my most despairing moods. Help me brainstorm, will you?
Take Care of Your Body's Needs to Help Your Depression
One thing I am aware of is that sometimes my depression makes me really numb and I forget about taking basic care of my body.
This might sound overly simplistic, but I honestly need to remember to dress more warmly this winter. Being freezing cold on top of being depressed will not help me. Every time I go outside I need to wear a hat, mittens, and a scarf. Maybe I should get those mittens on a string that little kids wear so they can remain hanging in the sleeves of my coat. I always remember my coat.
I have a few options for exercise this winter: if I'm dressed warmly enough, walking in the cold will help me with my depression. Moving in any way helps our bodies function better and a healthy mind is part of a healthy body. If I'm feeling brave I'll shovel the snow for a while.
If I really don't feel up to even leaving my apartment, I have an exercise bike that I can use. I didn't have it last winter, but this winter I'm better equipped to exercise under any weather restrictions.
Beat Depression This Winter by Not Isolating
It's natural to want to hide from the weather but I need to make sure I don't isolate myself too much this winter. Yes, my anxiety holds me back from hanging out with people, but I need to at least talk to people if it's too much for me to leave my apartment. Texting, writing, phone calls, and Skype needs to happen. Maybe I can set some chat-dates with my far-away friends to hold me accountable. Also, inviting people to my apartment is a good idea. If I can't go out, I can bring people to me.
I recommend checking out the Mood Journal and using it to keep tabs on your healthy habits in the coming months.
Do you have any survival tips for the fall and winter? Write them in the comments below! Let's get creative. Together we can fight.
You can also find Erin Schulthies on Twitter, Google+, Facebook and her blog, Daisies and Bruises: The Art of Living with Depression.
Schulthies, E. (2014, October 23). Tips to Beat Depression This Winter, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, June 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2014/10/tips-to-beat-depression-this-winter
Author: Erin Schulthies
WHY LET DEPRESSION BEAT US?!?!...
I am someone who was just diagnosed with Moderate Depression. I do not know a lot about it so I've been reading your blogs and they help. Reading this one made me think if I am suffering from "SAD" also. It do seem like every year around this time year I am extra depressed. I don't go out with friends, I lay around in a dark room all day where the only light is from my television. Like I said I don't know much about depression, but your blogs really do help. I also seen tips on how to deal with depression in the winter time at http://www.webmd.com/depression/winter-depression-treatment
Thank you for sharing your blogs. Hope this helps!!!
I try to get as much sunlight as possible. During my lunch break I'll sit in the car with the heat on and drive to a really bright spot so I can get some UV without freezing. Open the blinds and curtains around the house and just try to make everything around me as cheerful and light as I can
I also find myself fighting the winter depression. Here's some of the things I do: take my supplements - 1 Vitamin D and 1 Fish Oil daily, meditation twice a day (morning and night), positive affirmations for 10 minutes each day, plan at least one weekend getaway during the cold months (gets me out of my environment AND out of my own head), plan at least one monthly activity that is out of the house with family or friends, 30 minutes of exercise every day.
I have hope that this will the winter that I don't have to deal with depression. But, I'm also remembering that if it comes, it WILL pass just like every other time. None of us are alone in this struggle!