4 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself During The Darker Seasons
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Health and Wellness

4 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself During The Darker Seasons

4 Ways To Take Care Of Yourself During The Darker Seasons

Autumn's Daylight Savings brings more than an extra hour of sleep in the morning--it also means that nightfall comes sooner. Where in the summer months we enjoy a sunset at 7:00, 8:00, and even 9:00 p.m., after November 1 we can expect the days when darkness falls before we sit down for dinner.

This change in sunlight's schedule can also evoke change in our mood cycles. Many people suffer from seasonal depression from November until February, or even until spring. Our energy is sapped. We are fatigued. We get moody, and snap at the people around us. We feel a general, never-ending sense of awfulness, as though we're suffocating in a thick layer of darkness with no means of escape.

Here are four simple ways to take care of yourself when seasonal depression arises.

1. Take baths.

To me, there's nothing like sinking into a warm bath when I'm feeling crappy. During depressive periods, I try to take a lot of baths, because they're more than just comforting--they make me feel clean, renewed, and pampered. It helps to let the water flow gently over my skin, which is often dried-out from the cold in the late autumn and winter months. Bath bombs, salts, bubbles, and aromatherapies are always a plus. A bath is a treat--and when we have seasonal depression, we need to treat ourselves.

2. Go to bed earlier and wake up earlier.

The sun's gifts of vitamin D is incredibly important for our happiness levels, and a vitamin D deficiency can often lead to depression. This is one reason it makes sense that so many people endure seasonal depression--because we just don't get as much vitamin D during the fall and winter. But the sun doesn't just POOF! disappear from November to March. As people with seasonal depression, we've got to make the most of the sunlight that is present, even if it's behind a thick blanket of clouds. The best way to do this is to rise and set with the sun, because the world will be brighter for longer.

3. Eat whole, hearty meals.

While it's always a good idea to nourish your body properly, times of low energy in the dark of winter are perfect for making sure you're eating well. Get yourself warm and cozy on the inside. Eat soups with hearty veggies, and drink hot chocolate, tea, and cider. Even if you don't feel better immediately afterward, you will be keeping your body healthy and warm. That's a great deal more positive than not keeping your body healthy and warm, isn't it?

4. Be open about how you're feeling.

It's easy to be cranky around others when we're feeling depressed--believe me, I get it. That's why it's a good idea to let the people we live with know that kind of place we're in. It can be this simple: "Hey, just so you know, I've been feeling depressed lately, so I apologize in advance if I behave in an inconsiderate manner--and please let me know when I do, so that I can try to be more aware. Now, did you want to watch The Muppet Christmas Carol or Elf?" And there you go, you've just acquired 500 communication xp!

Finally, if your symptoms persist no matter what you try, consider seeing a doctor. Seasonal affective disorder is a very real thing, and your healthcare professional will be able to help you create a personalized method of treatment. Sometimes being kind to yourself means asking for help, and that's just fine.

Be well.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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