Top 6 Tips for Beating Seasonal Depression

As we enter this year's winter season, stress and anxiety are especially high due to the pandemic. Even in these stressful times, there are lots of proven strategies to help boost the mood during the winter months!

Here are my top 6 tips for beating seasonal affective disorder (also known as "seasonal depression"):

#1: Get outside for at least 20 minutes a day during the winter months, especially on the milder and sunny days. This is actually extremely important because it is believed that seasonal affective disorder is caused by a reduction in light. Outdoor temperature can indirectly impact seasonal affective disorder, because people are less likely to go outside when it's cold. But temperature alone is not the cause. So if you get outside and get sunlight, the symptoms can be reduced, regardless of the temperature. 🌞

#2: Maintain your exercise routine. Don’t let your exercise stop just because it’s getting colder or the days are shorter. Maintaining an exercise routine will keep those feelings of the blues away. Ideally you will exercise outside on the days that permit, but exercising indoors can have incredibly positive effects as well. Even just walking can lead to mood boosting effects in the brain that can combat the symptoms of low mood and lethargy. πŸƒπŸ»‍♀️


#3: Eat healthy. Don't let the dark days of winter lead to emotional eating. Eating high carbohydrate foods can exacerbate low mood and increase fatigue. It’s better to eat nutrient rich foods to maintain consistency in energy levels rather than foods that can cause spikes and dips.

#4: Seek help from a licensed professional, especially if you’re noticing symptoms that are more severe. Therapists are trained to help people learn coping strategies that will boost the mood and help you feel better. You don't need to suffer alone! πŸ—£

#5: Make plans with friends. Don’t be isolated during the winter. This is a unique winter in that being around a lot of people is generally not advised, but you can still meet a friend for a walk or a cup of coffee. Find a few good activities you can do with friends and get some plans on the calendar. 🚢🏻‍β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸΏ‍♀️

#6: Focus on your goals. Having something positive to focus on does wonders for improving the mood. And thinking positively about the future is also correlated with resilience during the pandemic!! Do something to launch your life forward. Read a book, write a book, take an online class, start a side hustle, reconnect with friends via phone or email, write your goals for next week/month/year, paint, do a DIY project, etc. Did you know that writing down your goals significantly increases your chances of achieving them? So write down some goals and get started! πŸ“

I hope this helps with feelings of low mood during the fall and winter months. The good news is, even using 2-3 strategies helps! Especially if one of them involves getting outside during the daylight hours. 🌞 πŸƒπŸ»‍♀️ 🍴 πŸ—£ 🚢🏻‍β™€οΈπŸšΆπŸΏ‍♀️ πŸ“

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