Earlier this week, I posted a quote to Instagram. It read something like “to all my folks facing seasonal depression, remember that the sun might not be shining but you are!”. I wasn’t trying to be cliche, I wasn’t trying to be corny but I absolutely was trying to spread positivity during this seasonal transition to fall. For those of us who have been here before, we all suffer from it, believe it or not. We all, in some way, have dealt with a psychological or emotional shift due to the change in the weather. I mean it makes sense right? The sun isn’t bright, it gets darker earlier and there’s no longer a cool relaxing breeze pushing on your heels to keep you going.
Seasonal depression is real. It’s a thing and it’s not to be ignored. In my opinion, it’s to be embraced. We often feel more in control of the things that we’ve embraced and accepted. By definition, seasonal depression is “A mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year.” , but by familiarity, it’s a bitch. Embracing seasonal depression means a few things, it means that the affected is aware, the affected can get through it & the affected is in control. *Notice I said affected and not victim* . We’re not victims, were affected. We’re taken away from who we are and thrown into what we think is a permanent state of mind.
After having a wonderful spring and summer this year, I want to change this stigma. I want to get rid of the idea that just because I haven’t got the sun, that I have to succumb to this numbness. This idea that seasonal depression is just something we “deal with” or something that is going to happen every year. It doesn’t have to. It may be there naturally, but the optimism in me says we can overcome it. Now I’m no expert and certainly no doctor, but I’ve had my fair share of depression and internal battles with myself and after what I like to call defeating the beast, I wanted to share a few tips that may help reshape someone’s outlook on life as we know it.
So here we have it. My top 5 tips to stay up:
Focus on the happy things that are within your control and don’t lose sight of them. Often times, we hyper focus on “why do I feel like this” without even realizing that, at times, we might not know exactly why. Don’t kill your happy brain trying to over analyze what may not even directly be in your control in your sad brain.
Try not to succumb to the warmth or comfort of your home this fall/winter. I knowwww I know it’s warm, as hell, but the smiles and laughs of shared company are even warmer. Surround yourself with people you love this season. It’s easier said than done once you’ve got that Netflix marathon poppin, but trust me...once that “are you still watching” message pops up and dissing your whole chill setup you’ll be thinking twice about this.
Laugh. I mean like really laugh, man! I live alone, so I often find myself sitting staring. No television on, no music playing and no one to discuss my inner thoughts with, but instead of moping around in it, I laugh. I make myself laugh, I call others to make them laugh and I watch the stupidest sh*t on YouTube or in my camera roll to just let out a good burst of fun.
Don’t base your happiness on ANYTHING OR ANYONE but you and your passions. Trust me, people may say it’s “cuffing season” but I think it’s cuff yo damn happiness season. Lock it down and don’t let ‘em in without the key. Whether you’re in a relationship or not, don’t throw all of your emotional eggs into the basket of your friends or lovers. That sh*t has to stem from within. Do what you’re passionate about, plan self care days, eat good, workout and let the rest take care of itself.
Stay active. Sometimes…and this sounds nuts…but sometimes I walk to places even when public transit or a cab could get me there much faster and much warmer. I like to map out my trips before I take them and if I see that my walk would be 20 mins? Oh I’m kicking it with my headphones on and my long strides! I don’t workout as much as I used to and I’m cognizant of that, so I try to be out, about and moving as much as I can.
There’s definitely more than five things to do to retain your happiness, but these are just some of my personal favorites. If the small things don’t feel right for you, kick up the sessions with your therapist! Trust me, ain’t sh*t wrong with amping up the number of times you go in for a few months!
Do you struggle with season depression? Send me your favorite tips to get through it! Let’s exchange! We can never try what we don’t know.
Stay up y’all!