April Showers Bring The End Of Seasonal Depression

April Showers Bring The End Of Seasonal Depression

A time when flowers begin to bloom and the skies are no longer grey
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Winter in upstate New York can be harsh, and I’m not just talking about the forty-one mile per hour winds. Winter is a constant stream of snow and grey skies, this long period without having sunny days can definitely take a toll on your mental health. Upstate New Yorker’s are all too familiar with the term “seasonal depression” and if you haven’t the definition of it s depression that coordinates with the changing of seasons. This definition doesn’t do justice to the way it feels to wake up every morning to a gloomy sky. For me, winter is a time where I get to dress like a potato sack in big sweater and a time to sulk and feed into my depression. Often times when I’m sad or depressed I fuel the fire by listening to sad music, watching sad movies, and spending most of my time by myself.

Spring, however, is not only a season of rebirth but a time to force myself out into the sunlight and away from my seasonal depression. There are a few things in particular that help me out of my winter slump.


Gardening

My idea of gardening is probably very different from most. By gardening, I mean going to Home Depot and buying plants such as succulents and bromeliads. Why? Because its very easy to take care of them, and it is very hard to kill them. I have never grown anything starting with a seed so I’m not really a gardener. There are a few benefits of my style of gardening, the first being that it is very easy. The second being that experiencing nature helps with mental fatigue, supported by the University of Washington’s Urban Forestry/Urban Greening Research.


Spring Cleaning

De-cluttering the space I live in helps me to de-clutter me mentally as well. When I was younger I absolutely loathed the idea of cleaning my room, but now I clean to help calm me. It’s much easier for me to be productive in a clean and well-organized setting.

Hiking

There’s nothing like getting some fresh air after a stressful day. Or a relaxing walks outside to start your day off. Physical exercise, especially in the morning, wakes me up and helps me to mentally prepare for the day ahead while also putting me in a good mood.

Gorge Swimming

Ithaca is full of gorges; hence the saying Ithaca is gorges. Take advantage of the beauty around you by going swimming. Going to the gorges is also a great social activity and makes for some great memories, as well as some funny stories.

Sundresses & Birkenstocks

These are the two things you will find me wearing almost all the time when the weather starts to get warm again. Sundresses and Birkenstocks literally make me feel lighter. During the spring and summer months I am no longer weighed down by my down jacket that goes to my ankles.

The Farmer's Market

One of the best parts of living in Ithaca is the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. The farmer’s market has fresh produce, beautiful flowers, hand-made jewelry, and some of the best food I’ve ever had. Going to the farmer’s market with my friends to get breakfast burritos or to just hang out by the lake makes for a great day.

The Dog Park

Ah, the dog park. There’s nothing quite like being smothered with kisses from a mob of dogs. The dog park in Ithaca provides the positivity of being outside, being active, and being around dogs.

I acknowledge that just because it’s sunny doesn’t mean that depression magically goes away. However, these activities help me manage the depression I have all year round as well. What’s important when you’re depressed is to get out of your routine, out of your bed, and to go outside and be active.

Cover Image Credit: Taylor Yowan

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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