14 Things I Did This Season To Cope With My Seasonal Affective Disorder

14 Things I Did This Season To Cope With My Seasonal Affective Disorder

SAD is a real thing.

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Seasonal Affective Disorder affects many people. I promise it is a real thing. The Mayo Clinic defines SAD as "A mood disorder characterized by depression that occurs at the same time every year." Mine comes in the dead of winter. So this winter, I wrote down a couple of things that made me feel better.

1. Take a hot shower/bath

All the steam in the bathroom and the heat from the water soothes the soul for real.

2. Get out of bed 

Try and wake up earlier than usual.

3. Buy a happy lamp

They mimic sunlight but without the UV rays.

https://verilux.com/collections/happylight-therapy-lamps-boxes

4. Make your bed everyday

One small accomplishment everyday.

5. Sit in your living room as opposed to your bed room

6. Eat healthier 

7. Do one small thing for yourself everyday

Get a cup of coffee or go for a walk.

8. Exercise 

I hate it as much as the next person but it does help.

9. Go out with friends 

I know sitting at home may be ideal but it's nice to be surrounded by people who love you.

10. When you're sad, let yourself be sad

Cry, listen to sad music, do what you gotta do.

11. Ask for help

Let people know what you're going through. It's ok.

12. Take care of yourself

Put on a facemask. Paint your nails.

13. Write about it

14. Try and plan a trip to a warm place with sun

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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5 Things I'm Going To Do To Better Myself This Summer

Every summer I tell myself that I'm going to make a change, but this summer is when I'm finally going to do it.

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After years and years of telling myself that I was going to have a summer "transformation", I finally committed myself to it this summer. This school year was a bit rough to say the least. I was sick for six months, in the hospital for a few weeks, my identity was stolen, and I was ghosted by eight different guys... Yeah, you heard me. Eight. So as you can see, my year was a bit shitty. But it took all of that to finally make me buckle down and want to make a change in my life. It's about time that I focus on my mental and physical health and I've never been more ready. Here are 5 of the things I'm going to do this summer to better myself:

1. Kick box

Last summer I started kick-boxing and it is one of the hardest workouts I've completed. Not only was I in the best shape of my life for a couple months last summer, but it also improved my mental health drastically. It gave me an outlet to channel all of my negative energy whether it was in the heat of the moment or if it had building up inside me for months. After the tragedies of this school year, I am more than ready to get back into the gym and get all of my energy out. Not only will I be in great shape again, but my mental health is sure to get back on track in no time.

2.  Practice yoga

Over the years I have dabbled in yoga, but this summer I really want to focus on my practice. I've considered buying a yoga membership but those can get quite expensive, so I'm going to resort to YouTube to practice yoga about 5 times a week. This will not only improve my mental health but also improve my physical health and give me some designated time each day to devote to working on myself in all aspects.

3. Paint and draw

In the past, painting and drawing has been another outlet that I've channeled my bottled up energy. Whenever I've gone through a breakup or had a falling out with a friend, I painted and used my emotion to inspire art from the root of my feelings. The art that I produce when I'm feeling down is some of the best artwork that I create, but if I get in the regular practice of painting, I will have another outlet to channel my energy and focus on the promotion of creativity and mental health. Not to mention, I might have some really cute room decor by the end of the summer.

4. Write

Now I am a writing major, but sometimes I find myself in a rut. However, whenever I get ghosted or whenever I feel self conscious I am completely inspired. I am full of words and thoughts and feelings and there is no better way to channel those thoughts than by putting them down on paper. Getting those thoughts out and making them tangible is a great way to relieve stress and promote good mental health and I plan to focus on that this summer. This will help me to better myself, but also will allow me to enlarge my portfolio, helping me develop professionally in the process.

5. Go to therapy

Last summer I attended therapy quite regularly in the month of August due to my binge eating being at its worst, but I wish I'd attended therapy all summer to help keep things in regulation. This summer I plan to attend therapy every other week, not due to any particular reason, but rather to practice good mental health on a biweekly basis and to be prepared in case of a flare up or an unexpected event. Going to therapy is perfectly normal and healthy and is quite beneficial when it comes to improving mental health and self awareness. I plan to really tackle this this summer in order to ensure a mentally healthy summer and the start of a healthy and happy school year next fall.

I know it's hard to buckle down and tell yourself that you're going to make a change, but I highly encourage you to try it this summer. Even if you only last a week, you still dedicated a week to trying to better yourself and that says a lot. Try kick-boxing or yoga or painting or whatever helps you focus and channel your energy. Even if it's a small start, it's better than nothing, and I guarantee you'll be thanking yourself at the end of the summer.

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