Fight Seasonal Depression With These Little Changes
Even if you aren’t someone who generally struggles with depression, you may still find yourself a bit down when the fall and winter months hit. An estimated one in four people suffer from SAD and, furthermore, four out of five of those are expected to be women. I am one such woman and, when I first realized I had SAD, I wouldn’t accept it. Growing up, I’d go into my mom’s room in the start of fall and see her sitting under this very bright lamp (a therapy lamp) and I always thought it seemed so absurd. It turns out, like mother like daughter, because now I suffer from it as well. I’ve developed some adjustments I make around this time of year to my home, my schedule, and my habits to help fight seasonal depression. If you’re looking for ways to do the same, without medication, try these.
Add twinkle lights
Having plenty of light around your home—both inside and out—will help fight the emotional darkness (as well as the visual). String twinkle lights up in the ceiling of your living room, and if you have a balcony or patio, put some up there too to create a charming outdoor café look.
Incorporate yellow, blue, and orange
Yellow is uplifting and invigorating—it’s why you see it in so many restaurants. Consider adding a yellow coat rack by the door, or a side table by the couches. Orange and bolder blues have calming effects, so grab art or lamp shades in these colors.
Get puffy rugs and accent pillows
Coziness is key to fight seasonal depression, so get fluffy, thick pillows, throw rugs, and puffs to sit on for the floor. They’re like grownup versions of comforting stuffed animals.
Get into a new hobby
Taking in new information activates parts of your brain that are otherwise left rather dormant, and can boost happy chemicals. The fall is a great time to take a new evening class. Learn a new skill or language or dance.
Take vitamin B12
If you are low on vitamin B12, you’ll feel the blues come on fast. Add a vitamin B12 supplement to your health regiment this time of year if you haven’t already.
Lay out textured blankets
Textured blankets will also up the coziness factor in your home. Thick, wool ones, shaggy ones, minky ones—if they feel nice to snuggle up in, they’ll give a comforting aesthetic to your couches and bed.
Get out in the morning
Mornings can be especially difficult for those with SAD because it can just be so dark in the early hours. That’s why it’s important to exercise first thing, and let your endorphins beat the blues.
Schedule your coffee maker
Not to mimic the famous commercials but…it is very nice waking up to the smell of fresh coffee. Schedule your coffee maker to have your cup of joe ready when you wake up. You’ll get an instant caffeine boost, and a warm beverage to heat up your insides.
Buy comforting breakfast foods
First of all, have breakfast—any breakfast at all. It’s Better Breakfast month, after all. You can’t afford blood sugar drops when you suffer from SAD. And, during this time of year, you can treat yourself to some comforting items like pancakes, waffles, or quiche.
Grab some indoor plants
It’s a good idea any time of year to keep indoor plants. But the fresh air and uplifting hues these add to your home are especially helpful during the fall and winter.
Make social plans
Keep your social calendar busy. Fill it up now, so that you have no excuse to hole up when it gets cold out. Make friendship dates in advance, and keep them. Being around friends (and just out of the house) will help a lot.
Take advantage of the seasons
Don’t just focus on the negatives of summer being over: think about the beauty of the fall and winter. Pick pine cones and grab some gourds for a decorative basket, go ice skating, seek out hikes that are especially gorgeous when the leaves turn orange and red.
Get a spa package
If you do some searching around online, you can find some good deals on spa packages—like monthly access to a women’s spa or a handful of massages at a discount. These are good for the body and mind.
Create a spa at home
If you cannot afford a spa package, turn your bathroom into a spa! Scrub down that tub and soak up the benefits of the bath. Add candles, aromatherapy oils, bath bombs, and a shelf for a book (or glass of wine).
A cluttered home can make for a chaotic mind. Cleaning isn’t just for the spring—this is a good time to de-clutter and clean up.