Well, it’s official. Regardless of our Instagram photos of sunsets on the beach in early Fall captioned, “Summer isn’t over until I say it is!”, Summer is O V E R. The beaches are empty, the hot air has been replaced by a crisp breeze and the leaves are beginning to change color and shed their branches.
I was really looking forward to Fall this year. As I’ve previously documented, I wanted to really take advantage of this season. I love Fall and all the comfortable outdoor activities it has to offer.
The worst part about the cooler weather coming in seems to be the seasonal depression that rolls on in with it. Did you know and estimated 10 million people are affected by SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder?
The sun starts to go down so much earlier and it seems it pulls all of my energy levels down with it.
In the Summer, after work, I love getting a good work out in. I take the dog for a walk afterwards and then I cook a great dinner and even run some errands. In some cases I am not home or sitting down to eat dinner until almost 9pm! I can do all these things and not feel one ounce of tiredness or loss of energy.
Fast forward to last night when I fell asleep on the couch at 7:00pm.
I did some research to figure out how I could go about feeling better naturally, of course. Here’s some tips I came across that seemed helpful.
Natural Ways to Combat Seasonal Depression
Get out in the Sun As Often as Possible – Find something you enjoy doing outside and do it as long as the cold weather permits. Bundle up if you have to but it is so crucial to get that natural vitamin D as long as you can, even if its only on the weekends.
Plan a Trip to Warmer Climates – As cost effective as it may be to plan a vacation when it’s Summer, it will be better for your health to do it in the dead of Winter. Being able to get back into a warmer climate where you can bask in the sun all day and soak up the sun will help break up the winter months and get you feeling rejuvenated.
Make and KEEP Social Plans – When you’re experiencing seasonal depression your couch is your best friend. Unfortunately, that is one toxic relationship you’re going to need to end. Make plans and keep them. Get out of the house and socialize because the more you stay inside on the couch the more you’re going to want to stay inside on the couch. (I need to get better at this I am the queen of cancellations).
Exercise Regularly – Endorphins, baby! Get these puppies released to feeling better. You may also see some results which will make you feel good anyway and will boost your mood. Reaping the benefits of regular exercise like gaining strength and a boost in energy will only help your seasonal depression symptoms.
Open Up Those Blinds – Let the sunshine, LETS THE SUNSHINE IN (I hope you got the musical reference)! Nothing aids in your feeling like you’re down more than being shut in by some blinds. Open them up, let the light pour into the room. It’s going to make you feel so much better.
Take some Me Time – TREAT YOSELF. Do something you wouldn’t normally do for yourself Anything that will lighten your mood will be good for you.
See a Therapist – There is really nothing like a therapist you trust and respect. Sometimes even just a half hour of speaking with a therapist can make all the difference. Do you research and choose someone who seems qualified and like a good fit for you.
There are plenty more ways to make sure you are dodging seasonal depression. If you’ve found something that works for you that I have not listed please do so in the comments below. It’s going to be a cold Winter, but it doesn’t have to be a long one.